AskDefine | Define farce

Dictionary Definition



1 a comedy characterized by broad satire and improbable situations [syn: farce comedy, travesty]
2 mixture of ground raw chicken and mushrooms with pistachios and truffles and onions and parsley and lots of butter and bound with eggs [syn: forcemeat]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Farce



  • (UK): /fɑːs/, /fA:s/
  • (US): , /fɑrs/, /fArs/
  • Rhymes: -ɑː(r)s


  1. A style of humor marked by broad improbabilities with little regard to regularity or method; compare sarcasm
  2. A motion picture or play featuring this style of humor.
    The farce that we saw last night had us laughing and shaking our heads at the same time.
  3. A situation abounding with ludicrous incidents
    The first month of labor negotiations was a farce.
  4. A ridiculous or empty show
    The political arena is a mere farce, with all sorts of fools trying to grab power.

Derived terms


style of humor
situation full of ludicrous incidents
ridiculous or empty show



  • /faʁs/, /faRs/


fr-noun f
  1. stuffing (for meat, etc)
  2. farce (play)

Related terms

Extensive Definition

A farce is a comedy written for the stage or film which aims to entertain the audience by means of unlikely, extravagant and improbable situations, disguise and mistaken identity, verbal humour of varying degrees of sophistication, which may include sexual innuendo and word play, and a fast-paced plot whose speed usually increases, culminating in an ending which often involves an elaborate chase scene. Farce is also characterized by physical humour, the use of deliberate absurdity or nonsense, and broadly stylized performances.
Many farces move at a frantic pace toward the climax, in which the initial problem is resolved one way or another, often through a deus ex machina twist of the plot. Generally, there is a happy ending. The convention of poetic justice is not always observed: The protagonist may get away with what he or she has been trying to hide at all costs, even if it is a criminal act.
Farce in general is highly tolerant of transgressive behavior, and tends to depict human beings as vain, irrational, venal, infantile, and prone to automatic behavior. In that respect, farce is a natural companion of satire. Farce is, in fact, not merely a genre but a highly flexible dramatic mode that often occurs in combination with other forms, including romantic comedy. Farce is considered a theatre tradition.
As far as ridiculous, far-fetched situations, quick and witty repartee, and broad physical humor are concerned, farce is widely employed in TV sitcoms, in silent film comedy, and in screwball comedy. See also bedroom farce.
Japan has a centuries-old tradition of farce plays called Kyogen. These plays are performed as comic relief during the long, serious Noh plays.



farce in Catalan: Farsa
farce in Czech: Fraška
farce in Welsh: Ffars
farce in Danish: Farce
farce in German: Farce (Theater)
farce in Spanish: Farsa
farce in French: Farce (théâtre)
farce in Galician: Farsa
farce in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Farce
farce in Italian: Farsa (genere teatrale)
farce in Hebrew: פארסה
farce in Japanese: 笑劇
farce in Georgian: ფარსი
farce in Latvian: Farss
farce in Dutch: Klucht
farce in Norwegian: Farse (teater)
farce in Polish: Farsa
farce in Portuguese: Farsa
farce in Romanian: Farsă
farce in Russian: Фарс
farce in Slovak: Fraška
farce in Finnish: Farssi
farce in Swedish: Fars
farce in Chinese: 鬧劇

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Atticism, Thalia, a continental, a curse, a damn, a darn, a hoot, agile wit, arlequinade, bagatelle, bauble, bean, bibelot, bit, black comedy, black humor, brass farthing, broad comedy, burlesque, burletta, button, camp, caricature, cent, comedie bouffe, comedie larmoyante, comedie rosse, comedietta, comedy, comedy ballet, comedy of humors, comedy of ideas, comedy of intrigue, comedy of manners, comedy of situation, comedy relief, comic muse, comic opera, comic relief, curio, dark comedy, domestic comedy, dressing, dry wit, esprit, exode, farce comedy, farthing, feather, fig, fleabite, folderol, forcemeat, fribble, frippery, gaud, genteel comedy, gewgaw, gimcrack, hair, halfpenny, harlequinade, high camp, hill of beans, humor, imitation, irony, jest, joke, kickshaw, knickknack, knickknackery, lampoon, light comedy, low camp, low comedy, mime, minikin, mock, mockery, molehill, musical, musical comedy, nimble wit, opera buffa, parody, pastiche, peppercorn, picayune, pin, pinch of snuff, pinprick, pleasantry, pretty wit, quick wit, rap, raw comedy, ready wit, realistic comedy, red cent, romantic comedy, row of pins, rush, salt, sarcasm, satire, satyr play, savor of wit, sentimental comedy, sham, shit, situation comedy, slapstick, slapstick comedy, slapstick humor, snap, sneeshing, sou, squib, straw, stuffing, subtle wit, takeoff, toy, tragicomedy, travesty, trifle, trinket, triviality, tuppence, two cents, twopence, visual humor, whim-wham, wicked imitation, wit
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