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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
  • It no longer is fatuous to predict an astonishing productivity harnessed to a relative handful of workers.
  • Henry's portentous musings on the futility of war seem fatuous beside his clear-eyed account of how war looks.
  • It's fatuous to book flight tickets through online travel firms without having a look at the respective airline's fare.
  • If another reason is to effect education reform, the idea is fatuous.
  • In all ages, indeed, grammarians appear to have been fatuous.
  • After a while, the debate in the restaurant begins to seem a little fatuous-there's not much comedy or tragedy in the movie.
  • It is as fatuous to deny the existence of evil as it is to toss the word around irresponsibly.
  • But those are small potatoes in a generally fatuous tale.
  • Suddenly, the finesse, the astuteness behind the gaze that does not really gaze is lost in a sea of fatuous prolixity.
  • To make a distinction between natural disasters and civil disturbances on the basis of whether or not looting occurs is fatuous.
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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