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faint

[feynt] /feɪnt/
adjective, fainter, faintest.
1.
lacking brightness, vividness, clearness, loudness, strength, etc.:
a faint light; a faint color; a faint sound.
2.
feeble or slight:
faint resistance; faint praise; a faint resemblance.
3.
feeling weak, dizzy, or exhausted; about to lose consciousness:
faint with hunger.
4.
lacking courage; cowardly; timorous:
Faint heart never won fair maid.
5.
Law. unfounded:
a faint action.
verb (used without object)
6.
to lose consciousness temporarily.
7.
to lose brightness.
8.
Archaic. to grow weak; lose spirit or courage.
noun
9.
a temporary loss of consciousness resulting from a decreased flow of blood to the brain; a swoon:
to fall into a faint.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French, past participle of faindre, variant of feindre to feign
Related forms
fainter, noun
faintingly, adverb
faintish, adjective
faintishness, noun
faintly, adverb
faintness, noun
overfaint, adjective
overfaintly, adverb
overfaintness, noun
unfainting, adjective
unfaintly, adverb
Can be confused
fain, faint, feign, feint.
Synonyms
1. indistinct, ill-defined, dim, faded, dull, 2. faltering, irresolute, weak. 3. languid. 4. pusillanimous, fearful, timid, dastardly. 6. pass out, black out.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for faint
  • These are really faint lights which many mistaken for light pollution from distant towns beyond their local horizon.
  • The effect is handsome, but it cannot disguise the fact these are not paintings for the faint hearted.
  • In the soft morning light, the brick blushes faint pink.
  • Tae-Bo is not for the faint of spirit, or the weak of back.
  • Parenting is not for the weak-kneed or faint of heart.
  • In the faint predawn light, fallen leaves crunched underfoot.
  • Others offer the faint praise that he will be a better prime minister than opposition leader.
  • Giant vegetable growing is not a hobby for the faint hearted.
  • But some of them are also working out until they puke, faint or suffer permanent organ damage.
  • They are not for the faint of heart, especially when viewed online.
British Dictionary definitions for faint

faint

/feɪnt/
adjective
1.
lacking clarity, brightness, volume, etc a faint noise
2.
lacking conviction or force; weak faint praise
3.
feeling dizzy or weak as if about to lose consciousness
4.
without boldness or courage; timid (esp in the combination faint-hearted)
5.
not the faintest, not the faintest idea, not the faintest notion, no idea whatsoever I haven't the faintest
verb (intransitive)
6.
to lose consciousness, esp momentarily, as through weakness
7.
(archaic or poetic) to fail or become weak, esp in hope or courage
noun
8.
a sudden spontaneous loss of consciousness, usually momentary, caused by an insufficient supply of blood to the brain Technical name syncope
Derived Forms
fainter, noun
faintingly, adverb
faintish, adjective
faintishness, noun
faintly, adverb
faintness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from faindre to be idle
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
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Word Origin and History for faint
adj.

c.1300, "wanting in courage," now mostly in faint-hearted (mid-15c.), from Old French feint "soft, weak, sluggish," past participle of feindre "hesitate, falter, be indolent, show weakness, avoid one's duty by pretending" (see feign). Sense of "weak, feeble" is early 14c. Meaning "producing a feeble impression upon the senses" is from 1650s.

v.

"grow weak" (c.1300); "lose heart" (mid-14c.); see faint (adj.). Sense of "swoon" is c.1400. Related: Fainted; fainting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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faint in Medicine

faint (fānt)
n.
An abrupt, usually brief loss of consciousness; an attack of syncope. adj.
Extremely weak; threatened with syncope.


faint v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Idioms and Phrases with faint
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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