Learning English

Word: Factitious

Factitious (Adjective)

Sentence with context:

Faking illness — or violence — is nothing new. As early as Roman times, physicians complained about lying patients. And in the 19th century, psychologists began talking about something they called “factitious disorder,” a category of mental illness in which the patient fakes being sick (or fakes that a child/relative is sick) without receiving any obvious benefit, like money or sick leave. Women would claim to have had (and lost) multiple pregnancies. Otherwise healthy people would shave their heads and drop weight and groan about how much they hated chemo.

Source: www.washingtonpost.com

Meaning: Artificially created or Developed


Bogus, Fake, Specious, Manufactured, Engineered, Artificial, Simulated


Genuine, Ingenuous, Sincere, Honest

Mnemonic (Memory Aid): How To Remember?

“Factitious” should remind you of “Fictitious”. Both words denote “imaginary” things, although there is a subtle difference between the two as covered below.

Difference between the words “Factitious” and “Fictitious”

Factitious” refers to something that is artificially created. For example: Historical stories may be rewritten by Governments so that a stronger connect is created between the citizens and the nation to create a factitious national identity.

Fictitious“, on the other hand, is plain fantasy and imagination. We can imagine a fairy, a demon, or even being the President of our countries.

So, although very similar, the meanings of these words are slightly different. For example, in the GIF below, we see a “factitious smile” not a “fictitious” one.

Credits: gfycat.com

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