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[fak-toh-tuh m] /fækˈtoʊ təm/
a person, as a handyman or servant, employed to do all kinds of work around the house.
any employee or official having many different responsibilities.
Origin of factotum
1560-70; < Medieval Latin, equivalent to Latin fac make, do (imperative of facere) + tōtum, neuter of tōtus all Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for factotum
Historical Examples
  • He had a factotum named Charley Breen who was his valet, cook, hostler and assistant surveyor.

  • He met Gourville, a wit and factotum of the court, and told him of his misfortune.

  • Ted cried, when my father, with some circumlocutionary hesitancy and great delicacy, conveyed his decision to our factotum.

    The Record of Nicholas Freydon A. J. (Alec John) Dawson
  • He was her factotum, in whom she had greater faith than in any member of her household.

  • I hired a Greek servant, whom I intended should serve as interpreter and factotum.

  • Entering the ground, he was confronted by his factotum, the Italian, Silvio.

  • The instant the factotum had closed the door, Valentin addressed the girl with an entirely new earnestness.

  • Bonhomme Michel was the old watchman and factotum of the monastery.

    The Golden Dog William Kirby
  • For many years Baha acted in Bagdad (1852-67) as factotum for Azal, and acknowledged him as supreme.

    Bahaism and Its Claims Samuel Graham Wilson
  • Everything went smoothly when the factotum was not interfered with.

    The Ghost Girl H. De Vere Stacpoole
British Dictionary definitions for factotum


a person employed to do all kinds of work
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin, from Latin fac! do! + tōtum, from tōtus (adj) all
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 factotum

1560s, from Medieval Latin factotum "do everything," from fac, imperative of facere "do" (see factitious) + totum "all" (see total).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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