farce

verb
\ˈfärs \
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

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Did You Know?

Noun

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

What remained was compulsory, completing the 27 outs required to end this farce and conclude another series win for the Astros, 13-5 against the Athletics on Wednesday night. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Evan almighty: Gattis goes on another rampage as Astros wallop Athletics," 14 June 2018 This comedic farce by Michael Parker and Susan Parker is about what happens when a woman in love tells a lie … which snowballs into many more lies. Annie Alleman, Aurora Beacon-News, "In the mood for love?," 30 Jan. 2018 For Livermore Shakespeare Festival, Domenique Lozano directs the English language’s preeminent farce, written by Oscar Wilde, with comic dynamo Gwen Loeb as Lady Bracknell. Lily Janiak, SFChronicle.com, "Lily Janiak’s theater picks, week of June 24," 22 June 2018 The game was still within three runs, though only two innings away from becoming a farce at the hands of Collin McHugh and Ken Giles. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Squandered opportunities curse Astros in loss to Red Sox," 3 June 2018 The government and its supporters made a concerted effort to entice and coerce voters to the polls to achieve a turnout that would shore up Sisi's mandate in the face of critics who labeled the election a farce. Alexandra Zavis, latimes.com, "Egypt's President Sisi headed for landslide victory in election decried by critics as a farce," 29 Mar. 2018 Just imagine: an encased farce of brined and smoked brisket dragged through the garden of the orthodox Chicago condiments. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "At 3 Squares Diner there’s a dog that won’t bark," 12 July 2018 This second part in the playwright's Aran Islands trilogy — sandwiched between The Cripple of Inishmaan and The Banshees of Inisheer — is a brutally ebullient farce that gleefully features several gory onstage murders. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Lieutenant of Inishmore': Theater Review," 5 July 2018 The Scorecard Westport Country Playhouse has been doing a lot of confrontational or politically active dramas in recent seasons, but the theater has never forsaken farce. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Little Theatre Of Manchester, Curtain Call Announce New Seasons," 26 June 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

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

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

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More Definitions for farce

farce

noun

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

: something that is so bad that it is seen as ridiculous

farce

noun
\ˈfärs \

Kids Definition of farce

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

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