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[fuh-see-shuh s] /fəˈsi ʃəs/
not meant to be taken seriously or literally:
a facetious remark.
amusing; humorous.
lacking serious intent; concerned with something nonessential, amusing, or frivolous:
a facetious person.
Origin of facetious
1585-95; facete + -ious; see facetiae
Related forms
facetiously, adverb
facetiousness, noun
nonfacetious, adjective
nonfacetiously, adverb
nonfacetiousness, noun
unfacetious, adjective
unfacetiously, adverb
unfacetiousness, noun
Can be confused
2. See humorous1 .
Usage note
A term labeled Facetious in this dictionary is one that is used consciously for humorous or playful effect. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for facetious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I had no business to get facetious--my temper's not so good, either.

  • Only Maulo, the camp jester, hurled a facetious comment at the corpse.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • He struggled not quite successfully to be facetious over the pretty, negligible activities of his wife's sex.

    The Sturdy Oak Samuel Merwin, et al.
  • “You can be facetious, I see,” the latter observed carelessly.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • The boy had a facetious and rather unpleasant face, and was certainly not remarkable for good manners.

    The Palace Beautiful L. T. Meade
  • And this remark, intended to be facetious, was after all pretty close to the literal truth.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • I even felt all up my back, thinking that perhaps some facetious boy might have transformed me into a walking placard.

  • "Then it will pass, of course," rejoined the facetious physician.

British Dictionary definitions for facetious


characterized by levity of attitude and love of joking: a facetious person
jocular or amusing, esp at inappropriate times: facetious remarks
Derived Forms
facetiously, adverb
facetiousness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French facetieux, from facetie witty saying; see facetiae
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 facetious

1590s, from French facétieux, from facétie "a joke" (15c.), from Latin facetia "jest, witticism," from facetus "witty, elegant, fine, courteous," of unknown origin, perhaps related to facis "torch."

It implies a desire to be amusing, often intrusive or ill-timed. Related: Facetiously; facetiousness. "Facetiæ in booksellers' catalogues, is, like curious, a euphemism for erotica." [Fowler]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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