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[fach-oo-uh s] /ˈfætʃ u əs/
foolish or inane, especially in an unconscious, complacent manner; silly.
unreal; illusory.
Origin of fatuous
1625-35; < Latin fatuus silly, foolish, idiotic; see -ous
Related forms
fatuously, adverb
fatuousness, noun
1. dense, dull, dim-witted. See foolish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fatuous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One of the chappies burst into a fatuous laugh once more at this remark.

    Hilda Wade Grant Allen
  • None but she would have been guilty of the fatuous vulgarity of "Italian nobility."

  • But it must not attempt in fatuous recklessness to make over humanity on the pattern of absolute equality.

    Right Above Race Otto Hermann Kahn
  • She said ‘Yes’ to him only for the sake of that fatuous, swindling father of hers.

    Chance Joseph Conrad
  • He was watching the operation with what he began to fear was fatuous imbecility.

British Dictionary definitions for fatuous


complacently or inanely foolish
Derived Forms
fatuously, adverb
fatuousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin fatuus; related to fatiscere to gape
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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Contemporary definitions for fatuous

illusory; delusive

Word Origin

Latin fatuus 'foolish''s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for fatuous

c.1600, from Latin fatuus "foolish, insipid, silly;" of uncertain origin (Buck suggests originally "stricken" in the head). Related: Fatuously; fatuousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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