Definitions

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

  • adj. Playfully jocular; humorous: facetious remarks.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant.
  • adj. Pleasantly humorous, jocular.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Given to wit and good humor; merry; sportive; jocular.
  • adj. Characterized by wit and pleasantry; exciting laughter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Sportive; jocular, without lack of dignity; abounding in fun: as, a facetious companion.
  • Full of pleasantry; playful, but not undignified; exciting laughter: as, a facetious story.
  • Synonyms Merry, Jovial, etc. (see jolly); jocose, humorous, funny, droll, comical.

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

  • adj. cleverly amusing in tone

Etymologies

French facétieux, from facétie, jest, from Latin facētia, from facētus, witty.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French facétieux, from Latin facetia ("jest, wit"), from facetus ("witty"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The words “excellent in the quality he professes,” refer most likely to the Poet's acting; while the term facetious is used, apparently, not in the sense it now bears, but in that of felicitous or happy, as was common at that time.

    Shakespeare His Life Art And Characters

  • I don't mean to be facetious, because I don't know what the word facetious means.

    NYT > Home Page

  • But this is what I call the facetious riddle invented by you: the demigods or spirits are gods, and you say first that I do not believe in gods, and then again that I do believe in gods; that is, if I believe in demigods.

    The Apology

  • I like the word facetious too, Zoom, because I associate it with a very funny story.

    Unwrapping the mayor « knitnut.net

  • The first time I ever heard the word facetious was on a Simpsons episode.

    dailycomic Diary Entry

  • He had meant to be a little facetious about the Greek words; but it was the slowly prepared and rather exasperating facetiousness of an ageing man, and he had dropped it listlessly, as though he himself had perceived this.

    Clayhanger

  • This provided too good an opportunity for the wits of the town to miss, and they promptly renamed the house as the Goose and Gridiron, which recalls the facetious landlord who, on gaining possession of premises once used as a music-house, chose for his sign a goose stroking the bars of a gridiron and inscribed beneath, "The Swan and Harp."

    Inns and Taverns of Old London

  • "White," called a facetious member, but White did not notice.

    Southern Prose and Poetry for Schools

  • ` ` White, '' called a facetious member, but White did not notice.

    Old Creole Days

  • You say that kind of facetious-like, but it really is true.

    Am I the only one who thinks...

Comments

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  • The difference between sarcasm and facetious is that sarcasm has more truth than wit and facetious has more wit than truth.

    February 20, 2012

  • In any case, in the hands of a facetious medical student a corpse can be made to laugh by manipulating the orbicular of the lips.

    Georges Bataille, The Tears of Eros

    November 29, 2011

  • i was being facetious when i said the food was good

    October 1, 2010

  • "A late facetious writer, who told the public that whenever he was dull they might be assured there was a design in it."
    Henry Fielding (1707-1754), Tom Jones, bk. ii, ch. 9

    September 20, 2009

  • All five vowels occur in this word once only and in alphabetical order.

    August 1, 2009

  • I'm staying clear of the sauce at tonight's party, said Tom, abstemiously.

    January 1, 2009

  • For other words with the pattern of facetiously, see aeiouy.

    January 1, 2009

  • Hum, [fəsi:ʃəsli] appears to use three vowels, which means there's about 17 others that don't occur in it

    January 1, 2009

  • (adv): facetiously uses all the printed versions of vowels AND the semivowel "y" in alphabetical order.

    January 1, 2009

  • how clever!

    November 20, 2007

  • uses all five vowels in order

    December 1, 2006