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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 from the web for fainter
  • In general, radio waves become fainter at a rate proportional to the square of the distance traveled.
  • City and suburban light pollution can be another challenge to spotting the fainter flashes.
  • The sculptures are as fierce as ever, the messages fainter but not subdued.
  • Rainbows with bigger drops will be brighter with more well-defined colors while rainbows with little drops will be fainter.
  • In this film, for the first time, there is taken into consideration the fact that sounds grow fainter as the object is distanced.
  • The previous weeks' action is an even fainter memory.
  • Some of the starlight still gets through, easily obscuring planets that are millions of times fainter than their parent stars.
  • What both groups found was that the light from distant supernovae was fainter than predicted.
  • To the end, in a rough and ever-fainter whisper, he condemned it.
  • It can also see objects ten times fainter than previous surveys.
British Dictionary definitions for fainter

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 fainter

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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fainter 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 fainter
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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