fac·​toid | \ ˈfak-ˌtȯid How to pronounce factoid (audio) \

Definition of factoid

1 : an invented fact believed to be true because it appears in print
2 : a briefly stated and usually trivial fact

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Did you know that Norman Mailer coined the word factoid?

We can thank Norman Mailer for the word factoid; he coined the term in his 1973 book Marilyn, about Marilyn Monroe. In the book, Mailer explains that factoids are "facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper, creations which are not so much lies as a product to manipulate emotion in the Silent Majority." In creating his coinage, Mailer relied on "-oid," a suffix that traces back to the ancient Greek word eidos, meaning "appearance" or "form." Mailer followed in a long tradition when he chose "-oid"; English speakers have been making words from "-oid" since at least the late 16th century.

Examples of factoid in a Sentence

The book is really just a collection of interesting factoids.

Recent Examples on the Web

These books do provide basic medical information but are over stuffed with bulleted factoids, endless pages of recipes and daily tracking goals. Sibbie O'sullivan, Washington Post, "Migraines have plagued me for years. A new book puts my pain in perspective.," 10 June 2019 Indeed, at one point Rowling was made into an internet meme for adding new factoids and back stories about her original universe and characters. Sangeeta Singh-kurtz, Quartzy, "Vans x Harry Potter is the sneaker collection no one asked for but everyone wants," 7 June 2019 But here's a fun factoid: Daniels isn't a big fan of that name. Chicago Tribune, chicagotribune.com, "Stormy Daniels tells the women of 'The View' that she's 'done being bullied'," 17 Apr. 2018 Another investigator, retired federal judge Barbara Jones, took on the task of laying out the larger context of the league’s gross mishandling of the Rice case apart from the tiny, exculpating factoid that Mr. Mueller was assigned to document. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "What Mueller Won’t Say," 26 Mar. 2019 Nevins also singles out Bealum for praise, complimenting his fun factoids. Michael Mcgough, sacbee, "Sacramento comedian may be the best part of Netflix weed-based cooking show, reviews say," 29 June 2018 If this seems absurd, consider this factoid: despite its age, Minecraft saw a record-breaking 74 million active players in December 2018. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Fortnite is not the biggest game on YouTube this year," 18 Sep. 2018 Outside of a potential lingerie diss, this song is full of other interesting factoids. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Shades Victoria’s Secret With Her Song “R.E.M.”," 17 Aug. 2018 Both pepper the tour with factoids and insider secrets about the story (no real Rolf? Andrew Bender, latimes.com, "In Salzburg, Austria, the hills are alive with the sound of tourists," 8 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of factoid

1973, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for factoid

fact + -oid;1

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Statistics for factoid

Last Updated

26 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for factoid

The first known use of factoid was in 1973

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More Definitions for factoid



English Language Learners Definition of factoid

: a brief and usually unimportant fact

More from Merriam-Webster on factoid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with factoid

Nglish: Translation of factoid for Spanish Speakers

Comments on factoid

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to take the place or position of

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