- word-forming element meaning "a doer, one who or that which does," from Latin -facientem (nominative -faciens), comb. form of present participle of facere "to make" (see factitious).
- word-forming element making nouns of action from verbs, from Latin -factionem (nominative -factio), from facere "to make" (see factitious).
- word-forming element in colloquial compounds (hen-fest, gabfest, etc.), from 1889, American English, borrowed from German Fest "festival," abstracted from Volksfest, etc., from Middle High German vëst, from Latin festum (see festivity).
- adjectival word-forming element meaning "making, creating," from French -fique and directly from Latin -ficus, from unstressed form of facere "to make" (see -fy).
- word-forming element meaning "a making or causing," from Latin -ficationem (nominative -ficatio), forming nouns of action from verbs in -ficare (compare -fy); ultimately from facere "to make, do" (see factitious).
- word-forming element meaning "split, divided into parts," from Latin -fidus, related to findere "to split" (see fissure).
- multiplicative word-forming element attached to numerals, from Old English -feald, Northumbrian -fald, from Proto-Germanic *-falthaz (cognates: Old Saxon -fald, Old Frisian -fald, Old Norse -faldr, Dutch -voud, German -falt, Gothic falþs), comb. form of *falthan, from PIE *polt-, extended form of root *pel- (3) "to fold" (cognates: Greek -paltos, -plos; Latin -plus; see fold (v.)). Native words with it have been crowded out by Latinate double, triple, etc., but it persists in manifold, hundredfold, etc.
- word-forming element meaning "-like, -shaped, in the form of," from French -forme and directly from Latin -formis "-like, shaped," from forma "form" (see form (n.)). Properly preceded by an -i-.
- word-forming element meaning "that which drives away or out," from Modern Latin -fugus, with sense from Latin fugare "to put to flight" (see febrifuge) but form from Latin fugere "to flee" (see fugitive (adj.)).
- word-forming element attached to nouns (and in modern English to verb stems) and meaning "full of, having, characterized by," also "amount or volume contained" (handful, bellyful); from Old English -full, -ful, which is full (adj.) become a suffix by being coalesced with a preceding noun, but originally a separate word. Cognate with German -voll, Old Norse -fullr, Danish -fuld. Most English -ful adjectives at one time or another had both passive ("full of x") and active ("causing x; full of occasion for x") senses.
It is rare in Old English and Middle English, where full was much more commonly attached at the head of a word (for example Old English fulbrecan "to violate," fulslean "to kill outright," fulripod "mature;" Middle English had ful-comen "attain (a state), realize (a truth)," ful-lasting "durability," ful-thriven "complete, perfect," etc.).
- word-forming element meaning "make, make into," from French -fier, from Latin -ficare, from unstressed form of facere "to make, do" (see factitious).
- F.F.V. (n.)
- abbreviation of First Family of Virginia, attested by 1847 (simple F.F., for first family but meaning Virginia, is from 1813).
- 1922, abbreviation of frequency modulation.
- fa (n.)
- fourth note in Guidonian scale; see gamut. Used from 13c. in Old French. It represents the first syllable in Latin famulus.
- fab (adj.)
- 1957, slang shortening of fabulous.
- Faberge (adj.)
- 1902 from Peter Carl Fabergé (1846-1920), Russian jeweler.
- Fabian (n.)
- "socialist," 1884, from Fabian Society, founded in Britain 1884, named for Quintus Fabius Maximus (surnamed Cunctator "the Delayer"), the cautious tactician who opposed Hannibal in the Second Punic War. The Fabians chose the name to draw a distinction between their slow-going tactics and those of anarchists and communists. The Latin gens name possibly is from faba "a bean."
- fable (n.)
- c. 1300, "falsehood, fictitious narrative; a lie, pretense," from Old French fable "story, fable, tale; drama, play, fiction; lie, falsehood" (12c.), from Latin fabula "story, story with a lesson, tale, narrative, account; the common talk, news," literally "that which is told," from fari "speak, tell," from PIE root *bha- (2) "speak" (see fame (n.)). Restricted sense of "animal story" (early 14c.) comes from Aesop. In modern folklore terms, defined as "a short, comic tale making a moral point about human nature, usually through animal characters behaving in human ways" ["Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore"].
- fable-monger (n.)
- also fablemonger, 1670s, from fable (n.) + monger (n.).
- fabled (adj.)
- c. 1600, "unreal, invented," past participle adjective from fable (v.) "to tell tales" (late 14c.), from Old French fabler "tell, narrate; chatter, boast," from Latin fabulari, from fabula (see fable). Meaning "celebrated in fable" is from 1706.
- fabric (n.)
- late 15c., "building; thing made; a structure of any kind," from Middle French fabrique (14c.), verbal noun from fabriquer (13c.), from Latin fabricare "to make, construct, fashion, build," from fabrica "workshop," also "an art, trade; a skillful production, structure, fabric," from faber "artisan who works in hard materials," from Proto-Italic *fafro-, from PIE *dhabh- "to fit together" (cognates: Armenian darbin "smith;" also see daft).
The noun fabrica suggests the earlier existence of a feminine noun to which an adj. *fabriko- referred; maybe ars "art, craft." [de Vaan]
Sense in English evolved via "manufactured material" (1753) to "textile, woven or felted cloth" (1791). Compare forge (n.)) which is a doublet.
- fabricate (v.)
- mid-15c., "to fashion, make, build," from Latin fabricatus, past participle of fabricare "to make, construct, fashion, build," from fabrica (see fabric). In bad sense of "tell a lie (etc.)," it is recorded by 1779. Related: Fabricated; fabricating.
- fabrication (n.)
- c. 1500, "manufacturing, construction," from Middle French fabrication and directly from Latin fabricationem (nominative fabricatio) "a structure, construction, a making," noun of action from past participle stem of fabricare "to make, construct" (see fabricate). Meaning "lying, falsehood, forgery" is from 1790.
- fabulist (n.)
- 1590s, "inventor or writer of fables," from French fabuliste, from Latin fabula "story, tale" (see fable (n.)). The earlier word in English was fabler (late 14c.); the Latin term was fabulator.
- fabulous (adj.)
- early 15c., "mythical, legendary," from Latin fabulosus "celebrated in fable;" also "rich in myths," from fabula "story, tale" (see fable (n.)). Meaning "pertaining to fable" is from 1550s. Sense of "incredible" first recorded c. 1600, hence "enormous, immense, amazing," which was trivialized by 1950s to "marvelous, terrific." Slang shortening fab first recorded 1957; popularized in reference to The Beatles, c. 1963.
Fabulous (often contracted to fab(s)) and fantastic are also in that long list of words which boys and girls use for a time to express high commendation and then get tired of, such as, to go no farther back than the present century, topping, spiffing, ripping, wizard, super, posh, smashing. [Gower's 1965 revision of Fowler's "Modern English Usage"]
Related: Fabulously; fabulousness.
- facade (n.)
- 1650s, "front of a building," from French façade (16c.), from Italian facciata "the front of a building," from faccia "face," from Vulgar Latin *facia (see face (n.)). Figurative use by 1845.
- face (n.)
- c. 1300, "the human face, a face; facial appearance or expression; likeness, image," from Old French face "face, countenance, look, appearance" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *facia (source also of Italian faccia), from Latin facies "appearance, form, figure," and secondarily "visage, countenance," which probably is literally "form imposed on something" and related to facere "to make" (see factitious).
Replaced Old English andwlita "face, countenance" (from root of wlitan "to see, look") and ansyn, ansien, the usual word (from the root of seon "see"). Words for "face" in Indo-European commonly are based on the notion of "appearance, look," and are mostly derivatives from verbs for "to see, look" (as with the Old English words, Greek prosopon, literally "toward-look," Lithuanian veidas, from root *weid- "to see," etc.). But in some cases, as here, the word for "face" means "form, shape." In French, the use of face for "front of the head" was given up 17c. and replaced by visage (older vis), from Latin visus "sight."
From late 14c. as "outward appearance (as contrasted to some other reality);" also from late 14c. as "forward part or front of anything;" also "surface (of the earth or sea), extent (of a city)." Typographical sense of "part of the type which forms the letter" is from 1680s.
Whan she cometh hoom, she raumpeth in my face And crieth 'false coward.' [Chaucer, "Monk's Tale"]
Face to face is from mid-14c. Face time is attested from 1990. To lose face (1876), is said to be from Chinese tu lien; hence also save face (1915). To show (one's) face "make or put in an appearance" is from mid-14c. (shewen the face). To make a face "change the appearance of the face in disgust, mockery, etc." is from 1560s. Two faces under one hood as a figure of duplicity is attested from mid-15c.
Two fases in a hode is neuer to tryst. ["Awake lordes," 1460]
- face (v.)
- "confront with assurance; show a bold face," mid-15c., from face (n.). From c. 1400 as "deface, disfigure." Meaning "to cover with something in front" is from 1560s; that of "turn the face toward" is from 1630s; meaning "be on the opposite page to" is from 1766. Intransitive sense "to turn the face" (especially in military tactics) is from 1630s. Related: Faced; facing. To face the music (1850, in U.S. Congressional debates) probably is theatrical rather than a reference to cavalry horses.
- face-card (n.)
- "court card," 1826, from face (n.) + card (n.1). So called for the portaits on them.
- face-lift (n.)
- also facelift, 1934, from face-lifting (1922); see face (n.) + lift (n.).
- face-off (n.)
- also faceoff, 1886 in sports (hockey, etc., originally lacrosse), from verbal phrase in a sports sense, attested from 1867 (see face (v.) + off (adv.)); the off perhaps is based on stand-off or similar constructions.
- face-painting (n.)
- 1706, "portrait-painting," from face (n.) + painting (n.). In reference to applying color to the face, by 1778. Related: Face-painter; face-paint.
- face-plate (n.)
- "protective cover, shield," 1874, from face (n.) + plate (n.).
- face-value (n.)
- 1842, from face (n.) + value (n.). Originally of stock shares, banknotes, etc.
- facebook (n.)
- directory listing names and headshots, by 1983, originally among U.S. college students, from face (n.) + book (n.). The social networking Web site of that name (with capital F-) dates from 2004.
- faceless (adj.)
- 1560s, from face (n.) + -less. Related: Facelessly; facelessness.
- facet (n.)
- 1620s, "one side of a multi-sided body," from French facette (12c., Old French facete), diminutive of face "face, appearance" (see face (n.)). The diamond-cutting sense is the original one. Transferred and figurative use by 1820. Related: Faceted; facets.
- facetious (adj.)
- 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."
Formerly 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]
- facia (n.)
- variant of fascia.
- facial (adj.)
- c. 1600, "face to face," from French facial, from Medieval Latin facialis "of the face," from facies (see face (n.)). Meaning "pertaining to the face" in English is from 1786. The noun meaning "beauty treatment for the face" is from 1914, American English. Middle English had faciale (n.) "face-cloth for a corpse" (early 14c.).
- facile (adj.)
- late 15c., "easy to do," from Middle French facile "easy," from Latin facilis "easy to do" and, of persons, "pliant, courteous, yielding," from facere "to do" (see factitious). Usually now with depreciatory implication. Of persons, "easily led," from 1510s.
- facile princeps
- Latin, literally "easily first." An acknowledged leader or chief. See facile, prince.
- facilis descensus Averni
- Latin, literally "the descent of Avernus (is) easy" ["Aeneid," VI.126], in reference to Avernus, a deep lake near Puteoli and a reputed entrance to the underworld; hence, "it is easy to slip into moral ruin."
- facilitate (v.)
- 1610s, "make easy, render less difficult," from French faciliter "to render easy," from stem of Latin facilis "easy" (see facile). Related: Facilitated; facilitates; facilitating.
- facilitation (n.)
- 1610s, noun of action from facilitate.
- facilitative (adj.)
- 1845, from facilitate + -ive.
- facilitator (n.)
- 1806, agent noun in Latin form from facilitate.
- facilities (n.)
- "opportunities," 1809, plural of facility. Sense of "physical means of doing something" is from 1872.
- facility (n.)
- early 15c., "gentleness, lightness," from Middle French facilité "easiness, ease," from Latin facilitatem (nominative facilitas) "easiness, ease, fluency, willingness," from facilis "easy" (see facile). First in a medical book:
If it be nede forto smyte [the head] wiþ a malle, be it done with esynez or facilite [transl. Guy de Chauliac's "Grande Chirurgie"]
Its sense in English expanded to "opportunity" (1510s), to "aptitude, ease, quality of being easily done" (1530s). Meaning "place for doing something" which makes the word so beloved of journalists and fuzzy writers, first recorded 1872, via notion of "physical means by which (something) can be easily done."
- facing (n.)
- "defiance," 1520s, verbal noun from face (v.). Meaning "action of turning the face toward" is from 1540s; that of "covering in front of a garment" is from 1560s; that of "a coating" is from 1580s; that of "front or outer part of a wall, building, etc.," is from 1823. Earliest use is as "disfiguring, defacing" (c. 1400).