factoid


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fac·toid

 (făk′toid)
n.
1. A piece of unverified or inaccurate information that is presented in the press as factual, often as part of a publicity effort, and that is then accepted as true because of frequent repetition.
2. A brief, somewhat interesting fact.

fac·toi′dal adj.
Usage Note: The suffix -oid normally means "resembling, having the appearance of." Thus, factoid originally referred to a claim that appears reliable or accurate, often because it has been repeated so frequently that people assume it is true. The word still has this meaning for many writers and readers; in our 2013 survey, 59 percent of the Usage Panel accepted it in the sentence The editorial writer relied on numerous factoids that have long been discredited. But factoid is also often used to mean a brief, somewhat interesting fact, and this sense has become common in recent decades. Some 64 percent of the Panel accepted this usage in the sentence Each issue of the magazine begins with a list of factoids, like how many pounds of hamburger were consumed in Texas last month. As the ballot results indicate, neither usage is overwhelmingly approved. If you use the word factoid, be sure the sentence makes it clear whether you are referring to a spurious claim, on the one hand, or an isolated, trivial, or mildly intriguing fact, on the other.

factoid

(ˈfæktɔɪd)
n
a piece of unreliable information believed to be true because of the way it is presented or repeated in print
[C20 (coined by Norman Mailer): from fact + -oid]

fac•toid

(ˈfæk tɔɪd)

n.
1. something fictitious or unsubstantiated that is presented as fact, devised esp. to gain publicity, and accepted because of constant repetition.
2. an insignificant fact.
[1973, Amer.]

factoid

- An unsubstantiated statement, account, or report published as if it were factual, coined by the novelist Norman Mailer from fact + -oid (as in android, humanoid), in reference to his fictionalized biography of Marilyn Monroe.
See also related terms for published.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.factoid - something resembling a fact; unverified (often invented) information that is given credibility because it appeared in print
info, information - a message received and understood
2.factoid - a brief (usually one sentence and usually trivial) news item
news item - an item in a newspaper
References in periodicals archive ?
When not eating new food, they are chewing their cud, which we discussed in a recent prior factoid post.
This usage is picked up by the Concise Oxford Dictionary in which factoid is defined as "an item of unreliable information that is repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact," a definition which assumes, first, that a factoid is necessarily "unreliable" or false, directly contradicting Mailer's own definition.
Every scientific fact has within it the potential to become a factoid upon submission of new evidence.
The factoid, first noted by security site Sophos, was in the context of an entry introducing new security features for the social network.
factoid and many offer quotes attributed to the celebrities.
The Naked Scientists perform experiments in the next round, which is originally entitled 'Experimental', while Factoid Frenzy is a test of memory as the contestants have to recollect as many facts as they can after watching video montage.
If you know an interesting factoid about your city or town, but don't see it mentioned on the City Factoids page, we'd love to hear about it
And still on the subject of trains, my favourite factoid of the week is this - a travellers' handbook once advised women to put pins in their mouth when a train went into a tunnel so men wouldn't kiss them.
This factoid is no doubt related to school children as a metaphor for the unlikelihood of the related event: the army of the world's superpower of the day beaten by amateurs.
MY favourite factoid to emerge from I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here is David Gest's impressive array of supposed ailments, which include nausea, hypertension and insomnia - familiar symptoms to those of us forced to watch the programme.
Nothing about ``Treasure Hunters'' is particularly original -- imagine the Nicolas Cage flick ``National Treasure'' reimagined as an ``Amazing Race''-style reality show, and you're right there -- but it hurtles along agreeably enough, and every once in a while, it tucks in a little historical factoid, which can't be a bad thing.
Farkas noted that growth trends for spirits and wine have not slowed, and provided the factoid that 50% of American households now own a corkscrew.