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

Get our daily newsletter In fact the farce had only just begun. The Economist, "Boris Becker, African diplomat," 21 June 2018 The original series, which ran from 2003 to 2006 on Fox, was a comedy miracle, capturing the oblivious entitlement of the wealthy Bluth family with elaborate farce plots and enough inspired coinages to fill a vault. New York Times, "Review: ‘Arrested Development’ Chases Its Past, Slowly," 28 May 2018 After the Rivaldo farce, most of the world was pleased to see Turkey advance, but that goodwill would not last long. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 4 Weeks to Go - Turkish Delight, 2002's Unlikely Bronze Medallists," 24 May 2018 The tone — of going from high farce to high tragedy, in such a short amount of time — was delicate. Théoden Janes, charlotteobserver, "William H. Macy: 'Bizarre' 'Krystal' may be my last low-budget film as a director | Charlotte Observer," 11 Apr. 2018 This trial is just the farce that Kobach’s entire career deserves. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "The 'Voter Fraud' Myth Is Just Embarrassing at This Point," 14 Mar. 2018 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

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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