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or façade

[fuh-sahd, fa-] /fəˈsɑd, fæ-/
  1. the front of a building, especially an imposing or decorative one.
  2. any side of a building facing a public way or space and finished accordingly.
a superficial appearance or illusion of something:
They managed somehow to maintain a facade of wealth.
Origin of facade
1650-60; < French < Upper Italian faciada, Italian facciata, equivalent to facci(a) face + -ata -ade1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for facade
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A few lights in its windows here and there broke the blank darkness of its facade, glimmering through the avenues of royal palms.

    Pieces of Eight Richard le Gallienne
  • In the facade of the building in front of them only one window was lighted.

  • It has a large brick church with a decidedly Flemish facade, and a detached pagoda-like belfry.

  • The Gargantuan facade itself was enough to smother comprehension.

    The Blind Spot Austin Hall
  • She regarded the stately proportions of the facade with awe.

    The Heart of Arethusa Francis Barton Fox
  • Windows in the facade are unique in that they are set into recessed brick frames.

    Huntley Tony P. Wrenn
British Dictionary definitions for facade


/fəˈsɑːd; fæ-/
the face of a building, esp the main front
a front or outer appearance, esp a deceptive one
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Italian facciata, from facciaface
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for facade

1650s, "front of a building," from French façade (16c.), from Italian facciata, from faccia "face," from Vulgar Latin *facia (see face (n.)). Figurative use by 1845.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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