verb \ ˈfärs \
|Updated on: 16 Aug 2018

Definition of farce

farced; farcing
1 : stuff
2 : to improve or expand (something, such as a literary work) as if by stuffing

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Origin and Etymology of farce

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




Definition of farce

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

Examples of farce in a Sentence

  1. an actor with a talent for farce

  2. the recall of a duly elected official for a frivolous reason is not democracy in action but a farce

Recent Examples of farce from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of farce

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

farce Synonyms

Other Performing Arts Terms

FARCE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of farce for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids


noun \ ˈfärs \

Definition of farce for Students

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

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