• (British) IPA: /ˈfa.sʌɪl/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈfæs.əl/


  1. Easy, now especially in a disparaging sense; contemptibly easy. [from 15th c.]
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970 ↗:
      , vol.I, New York, 2001, p.243:
      as he that is benumbed with cold sits shaking, that might relieve himself with a little exercise or stirring, do they complain, but will not use the facile and ready means to do themselves good […].
  2. (now rare) Amiable, flexible, easy to get along with. [from 16th c.]
    His facile disposition made him many friends.
  3. Effortless, fluent (of work, abilities etc.). [from 17th c.]
    • 1932, Duff Cooper, Talleyrand, Folio Society 2010, p. 54:
      we can learn the impression that he made upon a stranger and a foreigner at this period, thanks to the facile pen of Fannu Burney.
    • 1974, Graham Greene, The Honorary Consul, Pocket Books, New York, p.54:
      "Discipline," Jorge Julio Saavedra was repeating, "is more necessary to me than to other more facile writers.
    • 1990, Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game, Folio Society 2010, p. 372:
      A facile and persuasive writer, he also turned out countless newspaper articles on Russian aims in Central Asia and how best these could be thwarted.
  4. Lazy, simplistic (especially of explanations, discussions etc.). [from 19th c.]
    • 2012, Chris Huhne, The Guardian, 3 May 2012:
      There is a facile view that our green commitments – to tackling climate change, avoiding air and water pollution, protecting natural habitats – are an obstacle to growth. The message of the commodity markets is surely different.
  5. (chemistry) Of a reaction or other process, taking place readily.
    Decarboxylation of beta-keto acids is facile...
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