What Does Facetious Mean? | Definition & Examples

Facetious is an adjective meaning ‘inappropriately humorous’. It can also be used in a less negative way to mean ‘amusing’ or, more negatively, to describe someone as ‘treating serious issues lightly’.

Examples: ‘Facetious’ in a sentence
Helena doesn’t like Leo because he made a facetious remark at her wedding.

Throughout the meeting, Noah kept making facetious comments.

I wasn’t being facetious when I said I liked your sense of style.

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Facetious vs sarcastic

While ‘facetious’ and ‘sarcastic’ are often used interchangeably, the words have different meanings. Facetiousness is intended to be humorous, even when it is deemed inappropriate.

Conversely, sarcasm is used to mock or deride someone or something, often without any intention to be humorous.

Examples: ‘Sarcastic’ in a sentence
I don’t like talking to Juan; he’s sarcastic and mean.

Emma thinks she’s witty, but she’s just sarcastic.

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If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

Frequently asked questions about facetious

What is a synonym of ‘facetious’?

Some synonyms for facetious include:

  • Amusing
  • Bantering
  • Comical
  • Droll
  • Flippant
  • Frivolous
  • Funny
  • Jesting
  • Jocular
  • Witty
What is an antonym of ‘facetious’?

Some antonyms (opposites) for facetious include:

  • Earnest
  • Grave
  • Humorless
  • Serious
  • Sober
  • Solemn
How do you pronounce ‘facetious’?

Facetious has three syllables. It’s pronounced with an emphasis on the second syllable: [fuh-see-shuss].

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Ryan, E. (2022, December 02). What Does Facetious Mean? | Definition & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 22 February 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/definition/facetious-meaning/

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Eoghan Ryan

Eoghan has a lot of experience with theses and dissertations at bachelor's, MA, and PhD level. He has taught university English courses, helping students to improve their research and writing.