follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

fainéant

[fey-nee-uh nt; French fe-ney-ahn] /ˈfeɪ ni ənt; French fɛ neɪˈɑ̃/
adjective
1.
Also, faineant
[fey-nee-uh nt] /ˈfeɪ ni ənt/ (Show IPA)
. idle; indolent.
noun, plural fainéants
[fey-nee-uh nts; French fe-ney-ahn] /ˈfeɪ ni ənts; French fɛ neɪˈɑ̃/ (Show IPA)
2.
an idler.
Origin
1610-1620
1610-20; < French, earlier fait-nient, literally, he does nothing, pseudo-etymological alteration of Old French faignant idler, noun use of present participle of se faindre to shirk. See feign, faint
Related forms
faineance
[fey-nee-uh ns] /ˈfeɪ ni əns/ (Show IPA),
noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for faineant

fainéant

/ˈfeɪnɪənt; French fɛneɑ̃/
noun
1.
a lazy person; idler
adjective
2.
indolent
Derived Forms
faineance, faineancy, noun
Word Origin
C17: from French, modification of earlier fait-nient (he) does nothing, by folk etymology from Old French faignant shirker, from faindre to be lazy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for faineant
faineant
1610s (n.), from Fr. fainéant (16c.) do-nothing, from fait, third person singular present tense of faire + néant nothing (cf. dolce far niente). As an adj., from 1855.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for fainéant

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for faineant

11
13
Scrabble Words With Friends