Definition of facile in English:


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

    ‘facile generalizations’
    • ‘Ideological polarizations on educational issues tend to be facile and premature.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Many examples and precedents elude or combat this facile notion.’
    • ‘One needs here to be wary of too facile generalization.’
    • ‘The truth itself is far more complex than these facile comparisons, which also makes it more durable.’
    • ‘They try to turn our complex and multifaceted planet into the facile contents of a military thriller.’
    • ‘Does Tiff's tragic and complex situation lend itself to such a facile analysis?’
    • ‘The great cliché of their generation, enshrined in endless articles and now in facile novels, is that they were caught between two cultures.’
    • ‘The objection that commentators of the right make about him is, generally, that his arguments are facile.’
    • ‘The statement issued by the club today said: ‘The unfortunate reality is that the proposals in the document are somewhat facile.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This sort of approach is both facile and wrong, on factual as well as normative grounds.’
    • ‘With hindsight it is too easy to pass facile moral judgments regarding decisions made in the past.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.’
      • ‘In Jeffrey's case his soul seems to get ever more shallow and facile.’
      • ‘A facile intellect is no substitute for a moral compass.’
      • ‘As for Jenna, she's annoying one-note and completely facile in her approach.’
      • ‘There's nothing pretentious or facile about them-there's conviction and true wisdom at their heart, and they're always rooted in particulars.’
  • 2(especially of success in sports) easily achieved; effortless.

    ‘a facile victory’
    • ‘he was revealed to be a facile liar’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ballinrobe Community School registered a facile victory over Ballyhaunis Community School in the opening round of the football league at Ballinrobe on Thursday.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ireland were away to Malta in the initial game and registered a facile victory on a scoreline of 90 points to 51.’
    • ‘Sulamani's facile victory was greeted by booing from the Longchamp crowd.’
    • ‘At that point Baltinglass were leading by 0-8 to 0-1 and well on their way to this facile victory.’
    • ‘Naas 20s had a facile victory over Navan last Sunday.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 opening-half exchanges gave little indication that Sligo would score such a facile victory.’
    • ‘That might suggest a facile victory for the favourites, but nothing could be further from the truth.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the end it was simplicity itself as Cork toyed with our fast faltering challenge and virtually romped to the most facile of victories.’
    • ‘Twelve months ago, in the opening league game at Clane, the Lilywhites had a surprisingly facile win.’
    • ‘O'Toole's emerged with a facile victor to take the team honours, from Tinryland in second place.’
    • ‘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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/ˈfas(ə)l/ /ˈfæs(ə)l/


Late 15th century (in the sense ‘easily accomplished’): from French, or from Latin facilis ‘easy’, from facere ‘do, make’.