Definition of factitious
- It seems probable that several of the mounds are factitious.
- factitious tastes and values
- created a factitious demand by spreading rumors of shortage
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presumably the statue is of factitious marble, because for that price you're not going to get the real stuff
the factitious friendliness shown by the beauty-pageant contestants to one another
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'factitious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Like the common words "fact" and "factual," "factitious" ultimately comes from the Latin verb facere, meaning "to do" or "to make." But in current use, "factitious" has little to do with things factual and true - in fact, "factitious" often implies the opposite. The most immediate ancestor of "factitious" is the Latin adjective facticius, meaning "made by art" or "artificial." When English speakers first adopted the word as "factitious" in the 17th century, it meant "produced by human effort or skill" (rather than arising from nature). This meaning gave rise to such meanings as "artificial" and "false" or "feigned."
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