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[feynt] /feɪnt/
a movement made in order to deceive an adversary; an attack aimed at one place or point merely as a distraction from the real place or point of attack:
military feints; the feints of a skilled fencer.
a feigned or assumed appearance:
His air of approval was a feint to conceal his real motives.
verb (used without object)
to make a feint.
verb (used with object)
to make a feint at; deceive with a feint.
to make a false show of; simulate.
Origin of feint
1275-1325; Middle English < Old French feinte, noun use of feminine of feint pretended, past participle of feindre to feign
Can be confused
fain, faint, feign, feint. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for feinted
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He drew his arm back and feinted, Willie crooked his elbow to hide his face.

    Red Head and Whistle Breeches Ellis Parker Butler
  • Just as before, Sutton feinted and saw his opening and swung.

    Once to Every Man Larry Evans
  • For some moments he feinted and lunged, seeking an opening, however slight.

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
  • Again Conway drove him into a corner of the ropes, feinted for the stomach.

    Once to Every Man Larry Evans
  • Instead, he feinted with his club until he managed to pin down the venomous head.

    Into the Primitive Robert Ames Bennet
  • Rick feinted with the hurt arm, then drove a chop at the man's nose.

  • He feinted, dropped the bridle, and pretended to draw aside.

    The Man from Jericho Edwin Carlile Litsey
British Dictionary definitions for feinted


a mock attack or movement designed to distract an adversary, as in a military manoeuvre or in boxing, fencing, etc
a misleading action or appearance
(intransitive) to make a feint
Word Origin
C17: from French feinte, from feint pretended, from Old French feindre to feign


(printing) the narrowest rule used in the production of ruled paper
Word Origin
C19: variant of faint
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 feinted



1670s, "a false show, a pretended blow," from French feinte "a feint, sham," abstract noun from Old French feint (13c.) "false, deceitful," originally fem. past participle of feindre (see feign).

Borrowed late 13c. as adjective, but now obsolete in that sense. Also as a noun in Middle English with sense "false-heartedness" (early 14c.), also "bodily weakness" (c.1400).


c.1300, feinten, "to deceive, pretend," also "become feeble or exhausted; to lack spirit or courage," from feint (adj.); see feint (n.). Cf. Old French feintir "be slow, delay." Sense of "to make a sham attack" is first attested 1833. Related: Feinted; feinting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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