Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Done with little strength or vigor; feeble.
  • adjective So weak as to be difficult to perceive;
  • adjective Lacking clarity or distinctness.
  • adjective Small in degree or amount; meager.
  • adjective Lacking conviction, boldness, or courage; timid.
  • adjective Likely to fall into a faint; dizzy and weak.
  • noun An abrupt, usually brief loss of consciousness, generally associated with failure of normal blood circulation.
  • intransitive verb To fall into a usually brief state of unconsciousness.
  • intransitive verb Archaic To weaken in purpose or spirit.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Feigned; simulated.
  • Having or showing little force or earnestness; not forcible or vigorous; not active; wanting strength, energy, or heartiness: as, a faint resistance; a faint exertion.
  • Having little spirit or animation; dispirited; dejected; depressed.
  • Having little courage; cowardly; timorous.
  • Having an intense feeling of weakness or exhaustion; inclined to swoon: as, faint with hunger; faint and sore with travel.
  • Weak by reason of smallness or slenderness; small; slender.
  • Having little clearness or distinctness; hardly perceptible by or feebly affecting the senses; indistinct; deficient in brightness, vividness, or clearness, loudness, sharpness, or force; not well defined; feeble; dim: as, a faint light; a faint color; a faint resemblance.
  • noun One of the colored lines (usually pale) on writing-paper.
  • noun plural The impure spirit which comes over first and last in the distillation of whisky, the former being called the strong, and the latter, which is much more abundant, the weak faints. This crude spirit is much impregnated with fetid essential oil (fusel-oil); it is therefore very unwholesome, and must be purified by rectification.
  • noun A fainting-fit; a swoon.
  • Oppressive: applied to the atmosphere.
  • To become weak in spirit; lose spirit or courage; sink into dejection; despond; droop.
  • To become faint, weak, or exhausted in body; fail in strength or vigor; languish; droop; especially, to fall into a swoon; lose sensation and consciousness; swoon: sometimes with away.
  • To become faint to the view; become gradually dim or indistinct; fade; vanish.
  • To make faint; weaken; depress; dishearten; deject.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To become weak or wanting in vigor; to grow feeble; to lose strength and color, and the control of the bodily or mental functions; to swoon; -- sometimes with away. See fainting, n.
  • intransitive verb To sink into dejection; to lose courage or spirit; to become depressed or despondent.
  • intransitive verb To decay; to disappear; to vanish.
  • noun The act of fainting, or the state of one who has fainted; a swoon. [R.] See fainting, n.
  • adjective Lacking strength; weak; languid; inclined to swoon.
  • adjective Wanting in courage, spirit, or energy; timorous; cowardly; dejected; depressed.”
  • adjective Lacking distinctness; hardly perceptible; striking the senses feebly; not bright, or loud, or sharp, or forcible; weak.
  • adjective Performed, done, or acted, in a weak or feeble manner; not exhibiting vigor, strength, or energy; slight
  • transitive verb obsolete To cause to faint or become dispirited; to depress; to weaken.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Lacking strength; weak; languid; inclined to swoon; as, faint with fatigue, hunger, or thirst.
  • adjective Wanting in courage, spirit, or energy; timorous; cowardly; dejected; depressed.
  • adjective Lacking distinctness; hardly perceptible; striking the senses feebly; not bright, or loud, or sharp, or forcible; weak; as, a faint color, or sound.
  • adjective Performed, done, or acted, in a weak or feeble manner; not exhibiting vigor, strength, or energy; slight; as, faint efforts; faint resistance.
  • noun The act of fainting.
  • noun rare The state of one who has fainted; a swoon.
  • verb intransitive To lose consciousness. Caused by a lack of oxygen or nutrients to the brain, usually as a result of a suddenly reduced blood flow (may be caused by emotional trauma, loss of blood or various medical conditions).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective lacking strength or vigor
  • adjective lacking conviction or boldness or courage
  • adjective lacking clarity or distinctness
  • adjective weak and likely to lose consciousness
  • noun a spontaneous loss of consciousness caused by insufficient blood to the brain
  • adjective indistinctly understood or felt or perceived
  • adjective deficient in magnitude; barely perceptible; lacking clarity or brightness or loudness etc
  • verb pass out from weakness, physical or emotional distress due to a loss of blood supply to the brain

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, deceitful, cowardly, from Old French, past participle of feindre, to feign; see feign.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old French feindre, faindre ("to feign, to sham, to work negligently"), from Latin fingere ("to touch, handle, usually form, shape, frame, form in thought, imagine, conceive, contrive, devise, feign").

Examples

  • _Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint_.

    Daily Strength for Daily Needs

  • The little store of sovereigns in the tin box seemed to be the only sight that brought a faint beam of pleasure into the miller’s eyes, —faint and transient, for it was soon dispelled by the thought that the time would be long—perhaps longer than his life, —before the narrow savings could remove the hateful incubus of debt.

    II. The Torn Nest Is Pierced by the Thorns. Book IV—The Valley of Humiliation

  • Gives him what he calls a faint picture of his horrible uneasiness, riding up and down, expecting the return of his servant as soon as he had dispatched him.

    Clarissa Harlowe

  • Senator Dole attributed some of this, what he called faint - hearted Republicans, to the president's standing in the polls.

    CNN Transcript Nov 15, 2005

  • So quietly did the little stream drip and ripple its way through the cãnon that it spoke only in faint and occasional gurgles.

    All Gold Canon

  • So spoke Brissenden, faint from a hemorrhage of half an hour before — the second hemorrhage in three days.

    Chapter 38

  • So quietly did the little stream drip and ripple its way through the cãnon that it spoke only in faint and occasional gurgles.

    All Gold Cañon

  • I love him turning away in faint disgust – that strikes me as exactly true to life.

    More Exercises « Tales from the Reading Room

  • I could feel my knee through my clothes, swelling, and swelling, and I was sick and faint from the pain of it.

    Chapter 4

  • I never thought to love him, but, you see, I do, she concluded, a certain faint triumph in her voice.

    Chapter 22

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • "I can't feel the way I did before

    Don't turn your back on me

    I won't be ignored

    Time won't heal this damage anymore

    Don't turn your back on me I won't be ignored"

    January 10, 2007

  • "One of the colored lines (usually pale) on writing-paper."

    --Cent. Dict.

    November 23, 2012

  • Old Roger, by God, was no saint,

    And never escaped the drink's taint.

    I regret to divulge

    He could overindulge

    And end on the floor in a faint.

    See pass out, syncope, swoon, lipothymy.

    January 31, 2016