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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ The outcry was, to a certain extent, factitious.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Factitious \Fac*ti"tious\, a. [L. factitius, fr. facere to make. See Fact, and cf. Fetich.] Made by art, in distinction from what is produced by nature; artificial; sham; contrived; formed by, or adapted to, an artificial or conventional, in distinction from a natural, standard or rule; not natural; as, factitious cinnabar or jewels; a factitious taste. -- Fac-ti"tious*ly, adv. -- Fac*ti"tious*ness, n.

He acquires a factitious propensity, he forms an incorrigible habit, of desultory reading.
--De Quincey.

Syn: Unnatural.

Usage: Factitious, Unnatural. Anything is unnatural when it departs in any way from its simple or normal state; it is factitious when it is wrought out or wrought up by labor and effort, as, a factitious excitement. An unnatural demand for any article of merchandise is one which exceeds the ordinary rate of consumption; a factitious demand is one created by active exertions for the purpose. An unnatural alarm is one greater than the occasion requires; a factitious alarm is one wrought up with care and effort.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1640s, "made by or resulting from art, artificial," from Latin facticius/factitius "artificial," from factus "elaborate, artistic," past participle adjective from facere "do" (source of French faire, Spanish hacer), from PIE root *dhe- "to put, to do" (cognates: Sanskrit dadhati "puts, places;" Avestan dadaiti "he puts;" Old Persian ada "he made;" Hittite dai- "to place;" Greek tithenai "to put, set, place;" Lithuanian deti "to put;" Polish dziać się "to be happening;" Russian delat' "to do;" Old High German tuon, German tun, Old Saxon, Old English don "to do;" Old Frisian dua, Old Swedish duon, Gothic gadeths "a doing;" Old Norse dalidun "they did"). Related: Factitiously; factitiousness.


a. 1 create by humans; artificial. 2 counterfeit, fabricated, fake.


adj. not produced by natural forces; "brokers created a factitious demand for stocks"

Usage examples of "factitious".

Only in dramatic literature do we find the devastating tradition of blank verse still lingering, giving factitious prestige to the platitudes of dullards, and robbing the dramatic style of the genuine poet of its full natural endowment of variety, force and simplicity.

As I installed myself opposite my companion, after having greeted her and received a murmured response, it seemed to me that I was sitting down to one of those factitious repasts which are served upon the French stage, when the table has been moved close to the footlights, and the ravishing young widow and the romantic young artist begin to manipulate the very nodus of the comedy.

At their hips they wore factitious tymbals, and their heels were spurred.

The anticipatory repudiation of military service, so far as this last may be imposed by existing governments in their factitious international rivalries, need not necessarily involve a denial of the need of military action on behalf of the world commonweal for the suppression of nationalist brigandage, nor need it prevent the military training of Open Conspirators.

He could picture the sudden decomposure of her firm placid features, to which a lifelong mastery over trifles had given an air of factitious authority.

He threw out biting remarks on Lydgate's tricks, worthy only of a quack, to get himself a factitious reputation with credulous people.

Whatever humanity I might conjure up against it was all factitious, and concerned my philosophy more than my feelings.