Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
1590s, from French facétieux (16c.), from facétie "a joke" (15c.), from Latin facetiae "jests, witticisms" (singular facetia), from facetus "witty, elegant, fine, courteous," which is of unknown origin, perhaps related to facis "torch."\n
\nFormerly often in a good sense, "witty, amusing," but later implying a desire to be amusing that is often intrusive or ill-timed. Related: Facetiously; facetiousness. "Facetiæ in booksellers' catalogues, is, like curious, a euphemism for erotica." [Fowler]
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Facetious \Fa*ce"tious\, a. [Cf. F. fac['e]tieux. See Faceti[ae].]
Given to wit and good humor; merry; sportive; jocular; as, a facetious companion.
Characterized by wit and pleasantry; exciting laughter; as, a facetious story or reply. -- Fa*ce"tious*ly, adv. -- Fa*ce"tious*ness, n.
a. 1 Treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humour; flippant. 2 Pleasantly humorous, jocular.
Usage examples of "facetious".
As I have never seen it in print, or heard it related by any one since, you shall have it instanter: It is well known that our present laughter-loving monarch was, in earlier years, often surrounded, when in private, by a coruscation of wit and talent, which included not only the most distinguished persons in the state, but also some celebrated bon vivants and amateur vocalists, among whom the names of the Duke of Orleans, Earl of Derby, Charles James Fox, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the facetious poet laureat to the celebrated Beefsteak club, Tom Hewardine, Sir John Moore, Mr Brownlow, Captain Thompson, Bate Dudley, Captain Morris, and Colonel George Hanger, formed the most conspicuous characters at the princely anacreontic board.
It was first proposed by Lord Sandwich, to raise a laugh against the facetious Lord North, who happened to sit next to a Mr.
The boy had parts both gay and bright, A merry, mad, facetious sprite, With heart as soft as satin.
Hibernia, and maid of honour to her majesty, the facetious Mother Butler--the ever-constant supporter of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, esquire, and a leading feature in all the memorable Westminster elections of the last fifty years.
The three portly-looking gentlemen whose grog-blossomed visages speak their love of the good things of this world are the Admirals Scott and Hope, and that facetious of all funny senators, Sir Isaac Coffin.
Adieu, thou facetious sprite, and may the graybeard Time tread lightly on thy buoyant spirits!
John, and there are few of any respectability who do not both know and admire him, his facetious talent will require but little introduction.
This person was the Irishman of the company--a happy, reckless, facetious dog, who had lost little save his liberty and cared nothing for his life, but laughed and cheated and joked and made doggerel songs on every disaster that befell them.
Black jugglers from Zoos, sham snake-charmers from the desert, and story-tellers both grave and facetious, all twanging their hideous ginbri, had been seated on the ground in half-circles of soldiers and their women.
I declare upon my soul, I had no more idea of being facetious than Moses, when he wrote the history of the plagues of Egypt.
But investigation of the subject showed me that while Captain John Smith would lend himself easily enough to the purely facetious treatment, there were historic problems worthy of a different handling, and that if the life of Smith was to be written, an effort should be made to state the truth, and to disentangle the career of the adventurer from the fables and misrepresentations that have clustered about it.
The hawks, and the gleads, and the ravens, and the carrion-crows, and the hooded-crows, and the rooks, and the magpies, and all the rest of the rural militia, forgetting their own feuds, sometimes came sallying from all quarters, with even a few facetious jackdaws from the old castle, to show fight with the monarch of the air.
And, with that, aunty gave George a nudge with her finger, designed to be immensely facetious, and turned again to her griddle with great briskness.
Joseph, who was in the best of humours, and wore a new pair of patent-leather boots and a glossy hat, to say nothing of a dazzling tie, enlivened the journey by whispering facetious remarks on their fellow-passengers to Ida, who in vain leant away from him, as far as possible, in her corner of the carriage, and endeavoured to concentrate her attention on the programme.
She was beginning to think that this facetious poseur might be capable of almost anything.