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

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 Frey grew up in Oakton, Va., in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. — a factoid that has often been raised by detractors over the last year who have occasionally shouted at him to move back to Virginia. Washington Post, 1 Nov. 2021 For the remaining 50% of independent jewelers still on the fence about carrying lab growns, Hurwitz has one final factoid that should make the decision easier: better margins. Pamela N. Danziger, Forbes, 3 Oct. 2021 This extremely misleading factoid has been flying around the internet faster than the couch guy TikTok. Courtney Shea, refinery29.com, 8 Oct. 2021 That empty factoid is the DOJ’s only evidence that Google has a monopoly of something. Alan Reynolds, National Review, 7 Oct. 2021 One interesting factoid that came out of the announcement is that a mid-band 5G deployment apparently takes 150x more compute power than 4G and requires response times that are twice as fast. Bob O'donnell, Forbes, 23 June 2021 Guests read a statement from an envelope, which is either a true or false factoid about them. Bethy Squires, Vulture, 21 May 2021 One amazing factoid from Chris Leavitt, executive director of luxury sales at Douglas Elliman in Palm Beach: 95 percent of the buyers at the Bristol so far have come from across the bridge, moved in from Palm Beach Island. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 9 Mar. 2021 Each one is like someone took a small factoid or story found in the back of a Walking Dead TV show companion book and adapted it for the screen. Nick Romano, EW.com, 8 Mar. 2021

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 entry 1

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Time Traveler for factoid

Time Traveler

The first known use of factoid was in 1973

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Dictionary Entries Near factoid

fact of life



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Statistics for factoid

Last Updated

7 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Factoid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/factoid. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for factoid

Nglish: Translation of factoid for Spanish Speakers


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