Word of the Day

Thursday, July 31, 2003


\fak-TISH-uhs\ , adjective;
Produced artificially, in distinction from what is produced by nature.
Artificial; not authentic or genuine; sham.
The extreme arbitrariness of this color in relation to the "real" colors of the human figure indicates that Picasso's initial analysis turned on a redesignation of the idea of local color, displacing it from the surfaces of the natural world to the wholly factitious veneers in the world of cultural artifacts.
-- David Carrier, "Modernist art and its market", Art Journal, Winter 1998
When a significant level of distrust evolves among segments of the public, for genuine or factitious reasons, police may be seen as "them" as opposed to the "us" of the general populace.
-- Woody West, "Cops Get Caught in a Catch-22", Insight on the News, July 17, 2000
I sensed that it was time to step back, take stock, and try to untangle and think through a series of events, a great many of which I had either undergone with impassioned abandon or been asked to write about with factitious enthusiasm (a constant temptation for cultural critics who are expected to celebrate the new).
-- James Miller, Flowers in the Dustbin
Factitious comes from Latin facticius, "made by art, artificial," from the past participle of facere, "to make."
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