facetious | facetiousness | facetiously

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Civil Services



intending to be humorous rather than serious

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facetious - playful

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The word ‘facetious’ can be used in a positive or neutral way when you want to make it clear that something you said was intended to be playful or tongue-in-cheek rather than taken literally. However, it is most commonly used in a negative context to express disapproval at somebody joking inappropriately or not taking something as serious as they should be.


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  1. Don’t worry, I don’t really expect you to give me a prize for coming up with that idea. I was just being facetious!

  2. I called this meeting to discuss a very serious matter, so I could do without your facetious remarks.

  3. Jack’s facetiousness is down to immaturity and a lack of experience. He needs to learn how and when to use his humour more appropriately.

  4. Mary didn’t make that comment to me facetiously. She said it sincerely in a deliberate attempt to cause offence.

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