factoid

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Actor-comedian Thomas Lennon has the off-camera job of regaling viewers with factoids and jokes as winners head to the stage. Lynn Elber, Fortune, "Live Updates: The 2019 Emmy Awards Are Underway," 22 Sep. 2019 Actor-comedian Thomas Lennon has the off-camera job of regaling viewers with factoids and jokes as winners head to the stage. Washington Post, "‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Veep’ aim for records at Emmy Awards," 22 Sep. 2019 That factoid was brought to Madonna’s attention back in May, when Billboard interviewed the Queen of Pop backstage during the show. Keith Caulfield, Billboard, "Madonna Teases Tour Rehearsal Video for 'Rescue Me,' Which She's Never Performed Live," 18 July 2019 But the play wears its research heavily, regularly trotting out from-the-annals factoids and bits of educational exposition, and the dialogue is often too blunt. Celia Wren, Washington Post, "Anxious men and other world-builders at CATF 2019," 9 July 2019 One factoid that has popped up in most every article about McCready’s run for the 9th is that the seat has not been held by a Democrat since 1963. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Two Dans, Two Elections, and No Winners," 10 Sep. 2019 Binder, played in the local production by Rob Downs, serves as narrator in the show, providing context and some factoids about Presley. Lila Seidman, latimes.com, "‘Elvis ’68,’ opening Friday in Glendale, brings audience inside Presley’s big comeback," 27 June 2019 Across from her were Michael Kliger and Roberto Eggs, of MyTheresa and Moncler respectively, who turned their toasts into a competition of sorts, to see who could dig up and share the most fascinating factoids about the Lycée. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Moncler and MyTheresa Host a Sunset Dinner in Paris to Celebrate Simone Rocha," 8 July 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of factoid

1973, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for factoid

fact + -oid;1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about factoid

Listen to Our Podcast about factoid

Statistics for factoid

Last Updated

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for factoid

The first known use of factoid was in 1973

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for factoid

factoid

noun
How to pronounce factoid (audio)

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

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to engage in dissolute behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!