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Borrowed from Latin factītius (artificial), alternative form of factīcius, from facere (to make, do). Doublet of fetish.


  • IPA(key): /fækˈtɪʃəs/
  • Rhymes: -ɪʃəs
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: fac‧ti‧tious


factitious (comparative more factitious, superlative most factitious)

  1. Created by humans; artificial.
    • 1661, Robert Lovell, a Compleat History of Animals and Minerals, page 351
      [...] if from erosion of the gums, by such things as restore them, strengthen and bind them; if wanting, it may be helped by the factitious; their ſordes are removed, by washing and cleaning them; and their blacknesse, by dentifrices.
    • 1854, Thoreau, Walden, chapter 1
      Most men, even in this comparatively free country, through mere ignorance and mistake, are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labors of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them.
    • 1860, Emerson, Conduct of life, Behavior
      Manners are partly factitious, but, mainly, there must be capacity for culture in the blood. Else all culture is vain.
  2. Counterfeit, fabricated, fake.
    • 1847, George Payne Rainsford James, chapter XXIV, in A Whim, and Its Consequences[1], page 208:
      [] To prevent a prisoner's escape, to prevent his suborning testimony, and arranging a factitious tale with those without, may justify many precautions."
    • 1908, Arnold Bennett, The Old Wives' Tale, book 2 chapter 8
      "Well, mater," he said, in a voice of factitious calm, "I've got it." He was looking up at the ceiling.
      "Got what?"
      "The National Scholarship. Swynnerton says it's a sheer fluke. But I've got it. Great glory for the Bursley School of Art!"
    • 2008, Richard L. Hume & Jerry B. Gough, Blacks, Carpetbaggers, and Scalawags: The Constitutional Conventions of Radical Reconstruction, Louisiana State University Press (2008), →ISBN, page 168:
      Ironically, the most stereotypical myth of Reconstructionism — involving perceived endemic corruption and ruthless exploitation of hapless native whites by freedman and carpetbaggers seeking to gain from black rule — is a factitious story of postwar South Carolina, as told with considerable and lurid exaggeration in two "classic" accounts []

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