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

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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

There are scenes of seduction, intrigue, frivolity and betrayal, all leading up to the final events that take on the appearance of a farce (though not French). Joanne Engelhardt, The Mercury News, "Theater review: Coward’s ‘Present Laughter’ opens at Pear Theatre," 12 June 2019 In the political pandemonium following January’s legislative rejection of May’s withdrawal deal, all the soft, softer, and softest options entertained were so close to de facto EU membership as to make the whole exercise a farce. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "No Exit," 10 Apr. 2019 Ojeda says that was all a farce, and that Americans are starting to see that. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "He just lost a congressional race for West Virginia’s Third District.," 12 Nov. 2018 His reelection in May to a six-year term drew international scorn as a farce. Samuel Rubenfeld, WSJ, "U.S. Sanctions Venezuela’s First Lady," 25 Sep. 2018 The game became a farce, one spearheaded by the electric middle of an Astros order sparked by a somewhat unexpected power surge from the bottom. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve lead Astros over Rangers," 31 Mar. 2018 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

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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Time Traveler for farce

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

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.

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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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