fac·​sim·​i·​le | \ fak-ˈsi-mə-lē How to pronounce facsimile (audio) \

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 Unlike the signature facsimiles of Vegas, including the faux Statue of Liberty at New York-New York Hotel and Casino, these pies are authentic takes, sometimes prepared by a city’s expats, other times by students of pizza history. Robert Spuhler, New York Times, "In Las Vegas, the Home-Style Pizza Is an Everything Pie," 6 Mar. 2020 Instead, the closest facsimile to competition was Jalen Brunson challenging and losing to Luka Doncic in the video game FIFA 20 while fans watched the stream. Dallas News, "Luka Doncic, Dwight Powell using Mavs’ season hiatus to support those affected by coronavirus in Dallas community," 20 Mar. 2020 Every facsimile has a simile hidden in it somewhere. Tom Carson, Los Angeles Times, "Woodstock glorified them. Tarantino barbecued them. In 2019, whither the hippie?," 15 Aug. 2019 Daisy lent Winchester their experience building air guns to help produce a pump-action facsimile of the famed Model 12. Joseph Albanese, Field & Stream, "The 12 Best Air Guns of 2020," 28 Feb. 2020 Though shot in California and not in the wilds of Alaska and the Yukon, the cinematography (a death word for movies) is a remarkable facsimile of the geography of the Great White North. Chuck Yarborough, cleveland, "Tame version of Jack London’s adventure ‘The Call of the Wild’: mush ado about nothing," 17 Feb. 2020 Instead, its vaccine is a recombinant nanoparticle—basically, a fake version of the virus that hooks into the cell in the same way as SARS-CoV-2, giving the cells practice at warding off a harmless facsimile of the virus. Melody Schreiber, The New Republic, "The Risky Race for a Quick Coronavirus Vaccine," 16 Mar. 2020 The goal isn't to provide a facsimile of an opposing player. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "How Michigan basketball is preparing for rematch with Iowa's Luka Garza," 17 Jan. 2020 Jay Pharoah offered a reasonable facsimile of J.J. Evans, from his strut to his pterodactyl-like arm positioning. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Marisa Tomei's Edith shines in ABC's latest Jimmy Kimmel-Norman Lear '70s sitcom presentation," 19 Dec. 2019

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

Time Traveler for facsimile

Time Traveler

The first known use of facsimile was in 1691

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about facsimile

Statistics for facsimile

Cite this Entry

“Facsimile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/facsimile. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for facsimile


How to pronounce facsimile (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of facsimile

: an exact copy


fac·​sim·​i·​le | \ fak-ˈsi-mə-lē How to pronounce facsimile (audio) \
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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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