\ 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

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: Noun If collusion with Russia had been fact rather than farce, Trump would never have made it to an impeachment trial. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "The Hole in the Impeachment Case," 18 Jan. 2020 Though the moment teetered on the edge of farce, Yoland’s demeanor throughout remained utterly serious and respectful. al, "The day a tumbleweed rolled down Dauphin Street," 16 Dec. 2019 Not one of them has any personal knowledge of any events regarding Ukraine and not one can add anything substantive to the already-ridiculous impeachment farce. NBC News, "Dems 'scraping the bottom of the barrel,' Trump campaign says; White House declares win," 5 Dec. 2019 The Kavanaugh confirmation process itself, in its tangle of tragedy and farce, was a blunt reminder of that. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "How Brett Kavanaugh Got the Last Laugh," 17 Sep. 2019 The film has its own metamorphosis of sorts too as the nature of even their relationship becomes amorphous and obscured when a farce about the two being married ends up becoming very real. Jake Coyle And Lindsey Bahr, Houston Chronicle, "‘Tree of Life’ tops list of 10 best films of the decade," 26 Dec. 2019 The film has its own metamorphosis of sorts too as the nature of even their relationship becomes amorphous and obscured when a farce about the two being married ends up becoming very real. Washington Post, "‘Tree of Life’ tops AP’s best 10 films of the decade," 13 Dec. 2019 Openings Boeing Boeing German Efficiency Productions stages Marc Camoletti’s classic farce about a French bachelor juggling relationships with three flight attendants. Los Angeles Times, "SoCal theater, July 28-Aug. 4: ‘Ragtime,’ ‘Pericles’ and more," 26 July 2019 Domhnall Gleeson is off in his own mad farce as officious snarlfart General Hux, who gets the best line in the film. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," 18 Dec. 2019

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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Cite this Entry

“Farce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/farce. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for farce

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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