Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The series of final passes performed by a matador preparatory to killing a bull in a bullfight.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a series of passes performed by a matador with a muleta or a sword before the kill

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Spanish, manual labor, from Catalan feyna, from Latin facienda, things to be done, neuter pl. gerundive of facere, to do; see fact.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowing from Spanish faena.

Examples

  • With the serge cloth of the red mulete draped over a long slender sword (estoque) he begins what is called the faena, the last act of the bullfight.

    Life And Death Ritual - La Corrida

  • All that remained of the corrida now was the never-ending faena.

    Carlos The Impossible (Part 2)

  • But at each faena, the tragedy ended as the last—with broken banderillas, broken swords, and an exhausted Hernando conceding defeat, unable to pierce the shoulder blades of the evermore accommodating bull.

    Carlos The Impossible (Part 2)

  • The basic muleta passes are the ‘trincherazo’, generally done with one knee on the ground and at the beginning of the faena; the ‘pase de la firma’, simply moving the cloth in front of the bulls nose while the matador remains motionless; the ‘manoletina’, where the muleta is held behind the body; and the ‘natural’, where the estoque is removed from the muleta, making it a smaller target.

    Life And Death Ritual - La Corrida

  • For the faena, the matador eschews the huge capote for the smaller, red flannel muleta draped over a short stick.

    There is no such thing as a bullfight

  • Finally, the trumpet sounds once more, and it is the time of the third and final tercio, the suerte suprema, the time of the faena and the estoque, the avisos.

    There is no such thing as a bullfight

  • Emerging from his hiding place behind the barrera, El Tapatio approaches the beast to begin the faena again.

    There is no such thing as a bullfight

  • In the third and most important segment the star of the performance, the matador, performs alone in the faena, a word that means

    Mexico

  • “The papers said they never saw a better faena,” Manuel said.

    The Short Stories

  • He looked out at the bull, planning his faena, his work with the red cloth that was to reduce the bull, to make him manageable.

    The Short Stories

Comments

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  • "The ox was sleek, black, muscular; when it plodded into the spotlight, under the guidance of a wrangler, the stage crew and other rehearsing performers shifted tensely, as if each motion might mark the start of a faena."

    - "Listen and Learn" by Nathan Heller, in The New Yorker, July 9 & 16, 2012, p 69

    July 8, 2012