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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.
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 faucets
  • They found the boards in the wood-closets fine kindling wood, while the pipes and faucets were as good as cash at the junk shop.
  • She paired the bargain finds with high-end partners, such as standard tiles with expensive faucets, to get the look she wanted.
  • If there is a drip in the ceiling, then it is not the faucets, but the pan.
  • The management company is not likely to go to each property to remind tenants to keep faucets dripping.
  • We transfer only a small jumble of drops from different faucets, not a continuous, coherent stream.
  • The profusion of taps and faucets emitted a series of hollow clanks and groans, but no water.
  • Faucet manufacturers have spent millions of dollars researching the quality of the drinking water delivered from various faucets.
  • People turning on their water faucets and blowing up their homes is not good.
  • We transfer only a small jumble of drops from different faucets, not a continuous, coherent stream.
  • Check shower heads and faucets as well as utility sinks and outdoor spigots.
British Dictionary definitions for faucets


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 faucets



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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