\ 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



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

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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, retaining its original meaning of "forcemeat" or "stuffing." The comedic sense of farce in English dates from the 16th century, when England imported 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


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: Noun

His critics have called the election a farce and urged voters to boycott, but millions of Russians hail the 65-year-old former KGB officer for defending their proud nation from a hostile outside world. BostonGlobe.com, "Russia votes but outcome is clear: 6 more years of Putin," 18 Mar. 2018 Robert Townsend, Dave Chappelle and Key and Peele made similar adjustments on their sketch shows, but within the precincts of satire and farce. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "‘Atlanta’ Skips a Grade," 11 May 2018 But in every episode of The Romanoffs, Weiner finds some way to reenact the death of the titular family, sometimes as tragedy and sometimes as farce. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The Romanoffs, from Mad Men creator Matt Weiner, feels like a period piece about the present," 12 Oct. 2018 Many folks have noted, and tried to explain, the resurgence of farce here, in England, in France, and elsewhere. John Timpane, Philly.com, "Princeton Festival presents a wild, tuneful, stripped-down 'Forum'," 12 June 2018 Speaking to the media Wednesday, Goodell said White is highly respected and dismissed the characterization of the investigation as a farce. Katherine Peralta, charlotteobserver, "Why NFL commissioner says investigation of Panthers' Jerry Richardson isn't a 'farce' | Charlotte Observer," 23 May 2018 In all seriousness, these games have turned into an absolute farce for much of this decade. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "The Crossover’s Guide to NBA All-Star Weekend 2018," 15 Feb. 2018 On the plus side, this whole farce could redeem itself if Donald Trump screens Mulholland Drive in the White House. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Clickbait headlines mistakenly convince Trump that David Lynch loves him.," 26 June 2018 New Jersey won this public farce and tied the series. Charles P. Pierce, SI.com, "There's a Silver Lining in Having So Many Complaints About NHL Playoff Officiating," 7 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of farce


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for farce


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


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

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

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More Definitions for farce



English Language Learners Definition of farce

: a funny play or movie about ridiculous situations and events
: the style of humor that occurs in a farce
disapproving : something that is so bad that it is seen as ridiculous


\ ˈfärs How to pronounce farce (audio) \

Kids Definition of farce

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on farce

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with farce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for farce

Spanish Central: Translation of farce

Nglish: Translation of farce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of farce for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about farce

Comments on farce

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


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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