factotum was our Word of the Day on 02/06/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of factotum in a Sentence
He was the office factotum.
Recent Examples of factotum from the Web
That was Allen Toussaint, the elegant, nattily attired musical factotum who crafted some of the most memorable tunes to spring from New Orleans, first as a composer and writer, and later as a performer in his own right.
Europeans got used to dealing with back-seat drivers when Vladimir Putin ran Russia as prime minister in 2008-12, while his factotum, Dmitry Medvedev, kept the presidential throne warm.
Which is why Claude Taylor, a former minor factotum in the Clinton administration, is seeking to pepper the districts of vulnerable Republican lawmakers with anti-incumbent billboard messages.
PiS, via its factotums in the state media, will exploit this quandary to the hilt, presenting itself as the only party that can be trusted to preserve Polish sovereignty.
Of course, there was no need for Rahm to fear Claypool, who's been a loyal factotum for years.
Through it all, John’s younger brother, Will—a plump, colorless, diligent numbers man—served as his long-suffering factotum.
As the Washington Post reported in 2016, these factotums have miraculously appeared in the press to defend Trump’s business exploits and vaunt his romantic desirability.
Baldwin, a celebrity factotum, is equally adept at playing himself.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'factotum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
"Do everything!" That's a tall order, but it is exactly what a factotum is expected to do. It's also a literal translation of the New Latin term factotum, which in turn traces to the Latin words facere ("to do") and totum ("everything"). In the 16th century, factotum was used in English much like a surname, paired with first names to create personalities such as "Johannes Factotum" (literally "John Do-everything"). Back then, it wasn't necessarily desirable to be called a factotum; the term was a synonym of "meddler" or "busybody." Now the word is more often used for a handy, versatile individual responsible for many different tasks.
Origin and Etymology of factotum
FACTOTUM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of factotum for English Language Learners
: a person whose job involves doing many different types of work
Seen and Heard
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