Definition of factotum
1 : a person having many diverse activities or responsibilities
2 : a general servant
Examples of factotum in a sentence
He was the office factotum.
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
New Latin, literally, do everything, from Latin fac (imperative of facere do) + totum everything
First Known Use: 1562
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
What made you want to look up factotum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).