See also: facíes and faciès


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Borrowed from Latin faciēs (form, configuration, figure; face, visage, countenance). Doublet of face.



facies (countable and uncountable, plural facies)

  1. General appearance.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page 6:
      The Chilean Amphijubula Schust. (Schuster, 1970a) which has the facies of a small Frullania and agrees with Frullania in leaf insertion and branching, has a nontiered seta with 16 epidermal cell rows surrounding 4 inner rows.
  2. (medicine) Facial features, like an expression or complexion, typical for patients having certain diseases or conditions.
    costive facies
    Hyponyms: masked facies, moon facies
  3. (geology) A body of rock with specified characteristics reflecting its formation, composition, age, and fossil content.
    Hyponyms: biofacies, lithofacies, microfacies, ichnofacies, taphofacies

Derived termsEdit





From Proto-Italic *fakjēs, which is of disputed origin. It may be from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeh₁- (to do, set, put, impose, place) (faciēs may be to faciō as speciēs is to speciō, and may literally mean "imposed form"[1]); however, others class it with facētus, fax.



faciēs f (genitive faciēī); fifth declension

  1. (in general) make, form, shape, figure, configuration
    Synonyms: speciēs, frōns, fōrma, habitus
    • 29 BCE – 19 BCE, Virgil, Aeneid 12.891:
      verte omnes tete in facies
      resort to every expedient
      (literally, “change yourself in every shape”)
  2. (usually Classical Latin) (in particular) face, countenance, visage
  3. (figuratively, Classical Latin) external form, look, condition, appearance
    in faciem + (genitive)like, in the guise of
    1. (in particular) external appearance as opposed to reality; pretence, pretext
    2. (transferred sense, poetic) look, sight, aspect
    Synonym: speciēs
  4. beauty, loveliness
    Synonyms: pulchritūdō, decus, decor
    Antonyms: dēdecus, dehonestāmentum


Fifth-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative faciēs faciēs
Genitive faciēī faciērum
Dative faciēī faciēbus
Accusative faciem faciēs
Ablative faciē faciēbus
Vocative faciēs faciēs

Old Genitive: faciēs

Gellius: vocabulum facies hoc modo declinatur: "haec facies, huius facies", quod nunc propter rationem grammaticam "faciei" dicitur

Derived termsEdit


See also facia.

  • Italo-Romance:
    • Sicilian: facci
  • Insular Romance:
  • Gallo-Romance:
  • Ibero-Romance
  • Borrowings:



  1. second-person singular future active indicative of faciō


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “face”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Further readingEdit

  • facies”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • facies”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • facies in Dizionario Latino, Olivetti
  • facies in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • facies in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette