Definition of facile in US English:



  • 1(especially of a theory or argument) appearing neat and comprehensive only by ignoring the true complexities of an issue; superficial.

    • ‘Many examples and precedents elude or combat this facile notion.’
    • ‘The commentary, from many national, ethnic, and gender perspectives, helps to skillfully cut away facile associations and simplistic modes of naming.’
    • ‘However, Cusick's irregularities both shift English language toward Iroquois grammar and protect Iroquois knowledge from facile interpretation.’
    • ‘I do not mean that as a glib and facile question, but as the most important foreign policy debate we have to face in today's world.’
    • ‘Thus, one of the fundamental problems with educational reform is that policymakers often neglect to address core social problems and instead attack peripheral issues with facile solutions.’
    • ‘They try to turn our complex and multifaceted planet into the facile contents of a military thriller.’
    • ‘The statement issued by the club today said: ‘The unfortunate reality is that the proposals in the document are somewhat facile.’’
    • ‘However, generalizations and facile strategies are often what the public wants to hear, despite what theory and research have shown us about the complexity of classroom environments.’
    • ‘Small wonder the extraordinary difficulty of making ethical choices in our consumer habits or use of energy or attitudes toward environmental or labour policy are addressed in such facile terms by our major political parties.’
    • ‘Clinging to a deterministic view of technology prevents us from exploring such possibilities, and leads us to a quick and facile assessment of the impact of technology on our lives.’
    • ‘The great cliché of their generation, enshrined in endless articles and now in facile novels, is that they were caught between two cultures.’
    • ‘Ideological polarizations on educational issues tend to be facile and premature.’
    • ‘The fate of the book's heroes, Chris and Rowland, is so predictable and facile that it undermines what little complexity existed in their relationship throughout the novel.’
    • ‘With hindsight it is too easy to pass facile moral judgments regarding decisions made in the past.’
    • ‘The objection that commentators of the right make about him is, generally, that his arguments are facile.’
    • ‘One needs here to be wary of too facile generalization.’
    • ‘But this is not the same thing as exploiting popular cynicism about politics to mount facile attacks on politicians, which is all too often the principal activity of the media today.’
    • ‘The truth itself is far more complex than these facile comparisons, which also makes it more durable.’
    • ‘This sort of approach is both facile and wrong, on factual as well as normative grounds.’
    • ‘Does Tiff's tragic and complex situation lend itself to such a facile analysis?’
    simplistic, superficial, oversimple, oversimplified, schematic, black and white
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) having a superficial or simplistic knowledge or approach.
      ‘a man of facile and shallow intellect’
      • ‘The secretary is very facile with definitions.’
      • ‘She is often facile, especially when relying on pop psychology.’
      • ‘There's nothing pretentious or facile about them-there's conviction and true wisdom at their heart, and they're always rooted in particulars.’
      • ‘A facile intellect is no substitute for a moral compass.’
      • ‘In Jeffrey's case his soul seems to get ever more shallow and facile.’
      • ‘As for Jenna, she's annoying one-note and completely facile in her approach.’
  • 2(especially of success in sports) easily achieved; effortless.

    ‘a facile victory’
    ‘he was revealed to be a facile liar’
    • ‘This was a facile victory for the girls who stormed into the game from the tip-off and dominated their opponents in every sector to seal a great win.’
    • ‘The day got off to a good start for favourite backers when Northern Boy registered a facile success in the opening Balfour Kilpatrick Maiden Stakes, winning at odds of 4-7.’
    • ‘They had a facile victory over Breaffy with the team turning in a fine performance and they totally dominated in almost every sector of the field to regain the winning thread after some narrow defeats in their previous matches.’
    • ‘Richard Johnson's mount has won his last two starts, following up a victory over this course and distance with a facile success at Folkestone last time.’
    • ‘He followed up a facile victory at Hexham, with a brave success in testing conditions at Chepstow, and is one that can gallop rewardingly all through the season.’
    • ‘In the end it was simplicity itself as Cork toyed with our fast faltering challenge and virtually romped to the most facile of victories.’
    • ‘Still only a five year old Copernicus, a gelding by Polish Precedent was recording his third win in four runs and following up his facile success at Listowel back at the end of September.’
    • ‘That might suggest a facile victory for the favourites, but nothing could be further from the truth.’
    • ‘Kevin Myers and James Weldon added late points for the losers but it was Templenoe who cruised to a facile victory in a contest that was too onesided to be entertaining.’
    • ‘O'Toole's emerged with a facile victor to take the team honours, from Tinryland in second place.’
    • ‘Ferdy Murphy's gelding has struck form with a vengeance recently, scoring at Sedgefield and Catterick, his latest success being achieved in facile style.’
    • ‘The opening-half exchanges gave little indication that Sligo would score such a facile victory.’
    • ‘Sulamani's facile victory was greeted by booing from the Longchamp crowd.’
    • ‘Ireland were away to Malta in the initial game and registered a facile victory on a scoreline of 90 points to 51.’
    • ‘At that point Baltinglass were leading by 0-8 to 0-1 and well on their way to this facile victory.’
    • ‘The almost facile nature of this victory, allied to their three championships from three previous attempts, suggests that this team should be hurling at a higher level.’
    • ‘Naas 20s had a facile victory over Navan last Sunday.’
    • ‘Ballinrobe Community School registered a facile victory over Ballyhaunis Community School in the opening round of the football league at Ballinrobe on Thursday.’
    • ‘Twelve months ago, in the opening league game at Clane, the Lilywhites had a surprisingly facile win.’
    • ‘The U.12 team from Kiltegan completed the double when they took the title with a facile win over Knockananna at Aughrim.’
    effortless, easy, undemanding, unexacting, painless, trouble-free, unchallenged
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Late 15th century (in the sense ‘easily accomplished’): from French, or from Latin facilis ‘easy’, from facere ‘do, make’.