farce

verb
\ ˈfärs How to pronounce farce (audio) \
farced; farcing

Definition of farce

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : stuff
2 : to improve or expand (something, such as a literary work) as if by stuffing

farce

noun

Definition of farce (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a savory stuffing : forcemeat
2 : a light dramatic composition marked by broadly satirical comedy and improbable plot
3 : the broad humor characteristic of farce
4 : an empty or patently ridiculous act, proceeding, or situation the trial became a farce

Did you know?

When farce first appeared in English, it had to do with cookery, not comedy. In the 14th century, English adopted farce from Middle French with its original meaning of "forcemeat" or "stuffing." The comedic sense of farce in English dates from the 16th century, when English imported the word again, this time to refer to a kind of knockabout comedy already popular in France. This dramatic genre had its origins in the 13th-century practice of augmenting, or "stuffing," Latin church texts with explanatory phrases. By the 15th century, a similar practice had arisen of inserting unscripted buffoonery into religious plays. Such farces—which included clowning, acrobatics, reversal of social roles, and indecency—soon developed into a distinct dramatic genre and spread rapidly in various forms throughout Europe.

Examples of farce in a Sentence

Noun an actor with a talent for farce the recall of a duly elected official for a frivolous reason is not democracy in action but a farce
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As the season progresses, though, the pathos largely gives way to farce. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 23 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Today, those offsets are achieved by voluntary credit exchanges — programs that Conrad says are essentially a farce. Ken Silverstein, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2022 Stuart turns the Victorian novel’s idea of adulthood as redemption into a farce — a body can’t outgrow its own formation. Hillary Kelly, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2022 In Country or in Robert Zemeckis’ farce Death Becomes Her as the nebbishy plastic surgeon caught between two women (Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn) determined to stay youthful forever. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 30 Mar. 2022 The tables are turned, feminine wisdom triumphs, and laughter reigns supreme in this hilarious Elizabethan farce. Dahlia Ghabour, The Courier-Journal, 29 Mar. 2022 When two reporters go undercover to investigate, the accusations, mistaken identities and romances ramp up in this laugh-out-loud farce. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 16 Feb. 2022 As in any good farce, the exposition takes less than half a page. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 23 Nov. 2021 The Bubble, switching things up however, is a full-on farce. Evan Romano, Men's Health, 12 Apr. 2022 Parts of his testimony were challenged by defense attorney John Keith Perry, who said the information Martin gave to investigators was a farce and full of lies. NBC News, 22 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of farce

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for farce

Verb

Middle English farsen, from Anglo-French farsir, from Latin farcire

Noun

Middle English farse, from Middle French farce, from Vulgar Latin *farsa, from Latin, feminine of farsus, past participle of farcire

Learn More About farce

Time Traveler for farce

Time Traveler

The first known use of farce was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About farce

Dictionary Entries Near farce

far between

farce

farce-comedy

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for farce

Cite this Entry

“Farce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/farce. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for farce

farce

noun
\ ˈfärs How to pronounce farce (audio) \

Kids Definition of farce

: something that is ridiculous Instead of being fair, the trial was a farce.

More from Merriam-Webster on farce

Nglish: Translation of farce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of farce for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about farce

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!