Facetious – Definition, Meaning & Use In A Sentence

11.08.23 Definitions Time to read: 3min

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The English language entails a variety of words, phrases, and figures of speech that make people wonder about their definitions. Many of these are often misunderstood, used in the wrong way, and predominantly used for their superficial allure rather than their actual meanings. This article provides an in-depth understanding of the term “facetious”, enveloping its origins, accurate application, and underlying meaning.

Definition of “facetious”

“Facetious” is an adjective that describes someone who deals with serious issues with intentionally inappropriate humor or disrespect. It is used to refer to reactions or behavior that are expressed in a joking manner, rather than serious intent.

Use of “facetious” in a sentence

The word “facetious” functions as an adjective that modifies a noun. It refers to behavior that is inappropriate, typically a joking manner, in reaction to a serious subject. It can be used in a sentence when you want to describe someone’s behavior as not seriously intended, often in a situation where genuine acknowledgment is appropriate or required.


  • His facetious comments were not appropriate in such a solemn situation.
  • Her facetious attitude often gets her into trouble with her parents.
  • Being facetious in a crisis does not seem productive.

How to spell “facetious” correctly

The word “facetious” is commonly misspelled, due to its unique combination of letters. It is derived from the French word “facetieux”, which dates back to the Latin word “facetia”. The Latin word translates to “jest” or “witty”. Some common misspellings are “faceteous”, “facitious”, and “fasitious”. The only correct spelling is “facetious” and a helpful memory aid can be that all five vowels in the word are in alphabetical order.

Correct spelling




Wrong spelling




Synonyms for “facetious”

It can be beneficial to substitute “facetious” with suitable synonyms to check whether the sentence makes sense and whether the correct meaning is expressed in the context. Using synonyms can prevent redundancy and repetition by using them interchangeably in your academic work. Below are four synonyms for “facetious” with example sentences:

Synonym Example
Flippant Her facetious attitude during the serious speech was inappropriate.
Her flippant attitude during the serious speech was inappropriate.
Jocular Despite the tense mood, her facetious remarks lightened the mood.
Despite the tense mood, her jocular remarks lightened the mood.
Joking She was facetious, but it was bad timing in the situation.
She was joking, but it was bad timing in the situation.
Waggish Her facetious comments are always inappropriate in the meetings.
Her waggish comments are always inappropriate in the meetings.


When someone treats a serious manner lightly, that person can be described as “facetious”. It acts as an adjective describing a person to be inappropriately but deliberately humorous.

Although “factious” and “sarcastic” refer both to types of humor, they do have slightly different indications. When someone is “facetious”, they are intentionally not serious. On the other hand, “sarcastic” refers to a person who is bitterly or negatively ironic.

“Facetious” is an adjective and modifies a noun. Check the examples below:

  • She was so facetious that everything just turned into a joke.
  • He kept making facetious remarks in our discussion.

Synonyms for the word “facetious” are:

  • Jocular
  • Witty
  • Humorous
  • Jocose
  • Joking
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