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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
  • It's a facetious point, but it's also a serious one.
  • New stanzas are welcomed, and local adaptations, irrelevant or facetious.
  • We might have treated this subject in the genteel, or in the romantic, or in the facetious manner.
  • They rustle cattle because the facetious machismo of it appeals to them.
  • There are a great many local slang words, often of facetious origin.
  • The tone must be grandly facetious to accommodate skeptics as well as believers.
  • The first answer to each of this book's questions is facetious.
  • At risk of being facetious, the best way of improving a long haul flight is to make it less long haul.
  • Most of the time it remains locked in, embraced by the unyielding requirements of its elaborate, facetious plot gimmick.
  • EZ, surely you are intelligent enough to see that the guy was being facetious.
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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