Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A piece of unverified or inaccurate information that is presented in the press as factual, often as part of a publicity effort, and that is then accepted as true because of frequent repetition: "What one misses finally is what might have emerged beyond both facts and factoids—a profound definition of the Marilyn Monroe phenomenon” ( Christopher Lehmann-Haupt).
  • n. Usage Problem A brief, somewhat interesting fact.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An inaccurate statement or statistic believed to be true because of broad repetition, especially if cited in the media.
  • n. An interesting item of trivia.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. something resembling a fact; unverified (often invented) information that is given credibility because it appeared in print
  • n. a brief (usually one sentence and usually trivial) news item

Etymologies

fact +‎ -oid; coined by Norman Mailer in Marilyn (1973): "facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper, creations which are not so much lies as a product to manipulate emotion in the Silent Majority". (Wiktionary)

Examples

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