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[faw-sit] /ˈfɔ sɪt/
any device for controlling the flow of liquid from a pipe or the like by opening or closing an orifice; tap; cock.
Origin of faucet
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle French fausset peg for a vent, perhaps equivalent to fauss(er) to force in, damage, warp, literally, to falsify (< Late Latin falsāre; see false) + -et -et
Regional variation note
Spigot is a common variant for faucet and is widely used in the Midland U.S. Elsewhere, faucet is more commonly used, especially in the Northern U.S. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for faucet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In this tube the coals were placed, and when the water in the urn was hot, it could be drawn off by means of a faucet at the side.

  • The drip-drip of water from the faucet sounded loud in the quiet.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • Giving the pitcher to Van Landing, she told him to fill it and pointed to a faucet in the hall.

    How It Happened Kate Langley Bosher
  • She watched with interest the water run steaming from the faucet.

    Mary Rose of Mifflin Frances R. Sterrett
  • Light heater and turn on faucet so that the water will flow into the tub as quickly as it is heated in the tank.

  • The rhythmic dripping of a faucet is audible through the flat.

    The Promised Land Mary Antin
  • Under no circumstances touch the wire from the faucet to the binding posts of the fuse gap.

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • The water comes through a pipe, and is turned on by a faucet.

  • Fasten one end to the faucet of a water-pipe (one in a set bowl preferred) by a very short piece of rubber tube.

    A Practical Physiology Albert F. Blaisdell
British Dictionary definitions for faucet


a tap fitted to a barrel
(US & Canadian) a valve by which a fluid flow from a pipe can be controlled by opening and closing an orifice Also called (in Britain and certain other countries) tap
Word Origin
C14: from Old French fausset, from Provençal falset, from falsar to bore
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 faucet

c.1400, from Old French fausset (14c.) "breach, spigot, stopper, peg (of a barrel)," of unknown origin; perhaps diminutive of Latin faux, fauces "upper part of the throat, pharynx, gullet." Barnhart and others suggest the Old French word is from fausser "to damage, break into," from Late Latin falsare (see false).

Spigot and faucet was the name of an old type of tap for a barrel or cask, consisting of a hollow, tapering tube, which was driven at the narrow end into a barrel, and a screw into the tube which regulated the flow of the liquid. Properly, it seems, the spigot was the tube, the faucet the screw, but the senses have merged or reversed over time. Faucet is now the common word in American English for the whole apparatus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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