\ 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



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

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 My nice-guy boyfriend turned out to be a self-loathing liar, and my attempt at a predictable romance turned out to be a farce. Anonymous, Marie Claire, "My Boyfriend's Secret Life—as Anthony Weiner 2.0," 19 Oct. 2016 The craziest of his records are all as lucidly organized as a six-door farce by Georges Feydeau. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "The Original Pop Parodist," 9 Aug. 2018 Some goofy, corny farce is part of the theatricality and the fun. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is a kooky, poppy romp," 18 July 2018 Homeless movement organizer Guilherme Boulos said in a statement on Monday that da Silva's arrest is a judicial farce and that protesters have the right to stay if the apartment indeed belongs to the former president. Fox News, "Protesters take apartment that put Brazil ex-leader in jail," 16 Apr. 2018 The farce begins when one of her old castmates, a soldier in the Army who's stationed in England, comes to visit. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "PM&L starts out 2018 with a farce," 11 Jan. 2018 The fear, then, must be that the farce of the past 2½ years may be but a prelude to an unimaginable tragedy. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "The Great Brexit Breakdown," 7 Dec. 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

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


\ ˈfärs \

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

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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