from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Biology The general aspect or outward appearance, as of a given growth of flora.
  • n. Medicine The appearance or expression of the face, especially when typical of a certain disorder or disease.
  • n. Geology A rock or stratified body distinguished from others by its appearance or composition.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Appearance.
  • n. Facial features, like an expression or complexion, typical for patients having certain diseases or conditions (e.g. costive facies).
  • n. A body of rock with specified characteristics reflecting the way it was formed.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The anterior part of the head; the face.
  • n. The general aspect or habit of a species, or group of species, esp. with reference to its adaptation to its environment.
  • n. The face of a bird, or the front of the head, excluding the bill.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The face; specifically, in anatomy, the facial part of the skull or of the head.
  • n. Features, visage, countenance, or physiognomy.
  • n. Hence The whole outside figure; the general configuration.
  • n. Hence The general aspect or appearance of anything; superficial characteristics or features; specifically, the general aspect which an organism presents at the first view, before the details have been considered separately: as, the facies of a country; the facies of a fauna.
  • n. Specifically — In geology, the entirety of the lithologic and paleontologic characteristics resulting from the external conditions which determine the existence of any particular fauna or flora for a given region. These characteristics are defined by physical conditions, such as climate, altitude, or bathymetry, and the geological or chemical nature of the medium.
  • n. In phytogeography, the physiognomy or characteristic appearance of a vegetation, depending upon the one or several species which predominate in it; or, the characteristic growth itself. A plant formation has one facies when there is one controlling species, and several when there are several such. See character-plant.
  • n. In petrography, the different modifications of one mass of igneous rocks, distinguished by their texture, or by their mineral or chemical composition: as, granitic and porphyritic facies of a dike: a gabbro facies of a diorite mass.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin faciēs; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.


  • 1994 Dr. Gianotti from Italy suggests that Cayler Cardiofacial syndrome, also known as asymmetric crying facies, is due to a 22q11. 2 deletion.

    DiGeorge, cleft palate, velopharyngeal incompetence

  • At this time the condition of the patient was as follows: The face presented the appearance known as facies hippocratica: the eyeballs were prominent, the corneæ glassy, the pupils widely dilated, not acting to light, and there was no reflex action of the conjunctivæ; the lips were livid, the tongue tumefied, but pallid, the skin ashy pale, the cutaneous tissues apparently devoid of elasticity.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 470, January 3, 1885

  • It is well known that this correspondence is recognized in the general 'facies' of the flora and fauna, dependent on generic identities.

    COSMOS: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe, Vol. 1

  • Controls on our "facies"/appearance [4], various provocations, persecutions of all kinds are multiplying, while police brutality, sometimes extreme, are rarely sanctioned by a justice which operates at two speeds.

    Indybay newswire

  • [4] Amongst the indigenized In France, "facies" signifies controls on one's appearance, including being harassed by police on the basis of the "crime" of making a "bad face" or giving colonial authorities a "dirty look".

    Indybay newswire

  • She has long ago taken on that mixture of compliance and resignation that is the facies of chronic illness.

    In the Valley of the Shadow

  • I've been able to determine it came from one of three marines facies, the Galena, Decora, or Platville formations (Middle to Late Ordovician).

    "Steampunk happens when goths discover brown."

  • Does it mean that one can break laws and rules as one facies?

    Florida delegates file lawsuit to get delegation seated

  • Altered timing and rate of snowmelt are very likely to differentially alter the availability of water in different facies of the tundra landscape mosaic, which are very likely to in turn significantly affect the predominant vegetation type and its growth dynamic through the active season [84].

    Phenotypic responses of arctic species to changes in climate and ultraviolet-B radiation

  • Rocks are predominantly upper sandstone of the Cambrian and Ordovician periods, horizontally bedded and characterized by a great variety of facies.

    Cliffs of Bandiagara (Land of the Dogons), Mali


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