facsimile

noun
fac·​sim·​i·​le | \fak-ˈsi-mə-lē \

Definition of facsimile 

1 : an exact copy A facsimile of the world's first computer was exhibited at the museum.

2 : a system of transmitting and reproducing graphic matter (such as printing or still pictures) by means of signals sent over telephone lines

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for facsimile

reproduction, duplicate, copy, facsimile, replica mean a thing made to closely resemble another. reproduction implies an exact or close imitation of an existing thing. reproductions from the museum's furniture collection duplicate implies a double or counterpart exactly corresponding to another thing. a duplicate of a house key copy applies especially to one of a number of things reproduced mechanically. printed 1000 copies of the lithograph facsimile suggests a close reproduction often of graphic matter that may differ in scale. a facsimile of a rare book replica implies the exact reproduction of a particular item in all details a replica of the Mayflower but not always in the same scale. miniature replicas of classic cars

Did You Know?

The facsimile machine (or fax machine) has been a staple of the modern office for a while now, and its name is much, much older. Fac simile is a Latin phrase meaning "make similar." English speakers began using facsimile as a noun meaning "an exact copy" in the late 1600s. In this sense, a facsimile might be a handwritten or hand drawn copy, or even a copy of a painting or statue. (Today, we also use the phrase "a reasonable facsimile" for a copy that is not exact but fairly close.) In the 1800s, people developed facsimile technology that could reproduce printed material via telegraph. Now, of course, we use telephone lines or wireless technology, and we usually call the resulting facsimile a fax.

Examples of facsimile in a Sentence

A facsimile of the world's first computer was exhibited in the museum. the family resemblance is so strong that the boy is virtually a pint-size facsimile of his father

Recent Examples on the Web

That struck me as either sincere or an amazing facsimile. Fox News, "TSA program tracks unsuspecting passengers," 31 July 2018 No word on how the two canine facsimiles will be living. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg Cloned Their Jack Russell," 15 Mar. 2016 SP Books is publishing a facsimile of the original manuscript for Picture of Dorian Gray. Constance Grady, Vox, "Russian publishers are deleting queer characters from books," 10 Nov. 2018 At some point, these towns will likely be changed irrevocably as their traditions become self-conscious facsimiles of themselves. Zandie Brockett, Condé Nast Traveler, "China's Southern Guizhou Region Is Like a Land Lost in Time," 24 Aug. 2018 The map program offers one of the best facsimiles of GIS grid maps of the United States, keeping most roads on screen even when zoomed way out. Scott Sturgis, Philly.com, "2018 Stelvio rounds out the Alfa Romeo lineup," 12 July 2018 Formerly puzzling telescope observations about real galaxies that raised questions about the standard dark matter hypothesis are being explained in the state-of-the-art facsimiles. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "The Universe Is Not a Simulation, but We Can Now Simulate It," 16 June 2018 Holograms — of Ho-Nien’s assistant, Angela, and of the facsimile of his dead lover, Alain — frequently distort and dissolve. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Projections the highlight of ‘Solo Date’ at S.F. International Arts Fest," 1 June 2018 In his graphic print, now on display at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery to mark the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination, Lichtenstein produced a fierce facsimile of a man with a message. Alice George, Smithsonian, "On the Eve of his Death, Robert Kennedy Was a Whirlwind of Empathy and Internal Strife," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'facsimile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of facsimile

1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for facsimile

from the Latin phrase fac simile "make alike," from fac, singular imperative of facere "to make, do, perform" + simile, neuter of similis "like, similar" — more at fact, same entry 1

Note: The phrase fac simile was well-known from its occurrence in one of the Distichs of Cato, a collection of proverbial wisdom (3rd-4th centuries A.D.) commonly used as a Latin textbook from the Middle Ages into the 18th century (though its meaning in the distich is different): "Qui simulat verbis, nec corde est fidus amicus, tu quoque fac simile—sic ars deluditur arte." ("If someone makes a pretense in speech and is not a true friend, you do likewise as well—and so art will be duped by art.")

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about facsimile

Listen to Our Podcast about facsimile

Statistics for facsimile

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for facsimile

The first known use of facsimile was in 1691

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for facsimile

facsimile

noun

English Language Learners Definition of facsimile

: an exact copy

facsimile

noun
fac·​sim·​i·​le | \fak-ˈsi-mə-lē \
plural facsimiles

Kids Definition of facsimile

1 : an exact copy

2 : a system of sending and reproducing printed matter or pictures by means of signals sent over telephone lines

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on facsimile

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for facsimile

Spanish Central: Translation of facsimile

Nglish: Translation of facsimile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about facsimile

Comments on facsimile

What made you want to look up facsimile? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move with a clumsy heavy tread

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!