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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 faintly
  • The air in the auditorium smelled faintly of burnt herbs.
  • And, faintly through the puffs and splashes, the high-pitched squeaks and whistles of dolphin communication.
  • faintly running through the background across the entire white cover are the words of the prayer.
  • The searchlight beam is faintly visible pointing aft from atop her pilothouse.
  • The topic was the economy, and some of the themes and patterns faintly echoed our own.
  • The term initially seemed to suggest something faintly indecent.
  • Smoke gave the cool air a faintly burned flavor, an aftertaste of ash.
  • Understated irony, ever so faintly tinged with melancholy, was his style.
  • But it was a side angle, and there were crow's-feet faintly evident at the corner of his eye.
  • Before then, there was something faintly disreputable about really big fortunes.
British Dictionary definitions for faintly

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 faintly
adv.

late 13c., from faint (adj.) + -ly (2).

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