Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun 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.
  • noun Usage Problem A brief, somewhat interesting fact.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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".

Examples

Comments

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  • coinage attributed to Norman Mailer.

    November 14, 2007

  • See also truthiness.

    July 11, 2014