fu·​ga·​cious fyü-ˈgā-shəs How to pronounce fugacious (audio)
: lasting a short time : evanescent

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Fugacious is often used to describe immaterial things like emotions, but not always. Botanists, for example, use it to describe plant parts that wither or fall off before the usual time. Things that are fugacious are fleeting, and etymologically they can also be said to be fleeing. Fugacious derives from the Latin verb fugere, which means "to flee." Other descendants of fugere include fugitive, refuge, and subterfuge.

Examples of fugacious in a Sentence

savor the fugacious pleasures of life as intensely as the more enduring ones
Recent Examples on the Web And even long-term, canonical sources such as books and scholarly journals are in fugacious configurations—usually to support digital subscription models that require scarcity—that preclude ready long-term linking, even as their physical counterparts evaporate. Jonathan Zittrain, The Atlantic, 30 June 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fugacious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin fugac-, fugax, from fugere

First Known Use

1634, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fugacious was in 1634


Dictionary Entries Near fugacious

Cite this Entry

“Fugacious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fugacious. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

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