Definitions

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

  • adj. Lacking strength or vigor; feeble.
  • adj. Lacking conviction, boldness, or courage; timid.
  • adj. Lacking brightness: a faint light in the gloom.
  • adj. Lacking clarity or distinctness: a faint recollection.
  • adj. Likely to fall into a faint; dizzy and weak: felt faint for a moment.
  • n. An abrupt, usually brief loss of consciousness, generally associated with failure of normal blood circulation. See Synonyms at blackout.
  • intransitive v. To fall into a usually brief state of unconsciousness.
  • intransitive v. Archaic To weaken in purpose or spirit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Lacking strength; weak; languid; inclined to swoon; as, faint with fatigue, hunger, or thirst.
  • adj. Wanting in courage, spirit, or energy; timorous; cowardly; dejected; depressed.
  • adj. Lacking distinctness; hardly perceptible; striking the senses feebly; not bright, or loud, or sharp, or forcible; weak; as, a faint color, or sound.
  • adj. Performed, done, or acted, in a weak or feeble manner; not exhibiting vigor, strength, or energy; slight; as, faint efforts; faint resistance.
  • n. The act of fainting.
  • n. The state of one who has fainted; a swoon.
  • v. 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. One of the colored lines (usually pale) on writing-paper.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A fainting-fit; a swoon.
  • 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.
  • Oppressive: applied to the atmosphere.

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

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

Etymologies

Middle English, deceitful, cowardly, from Old French, past participle of feindre, to feign; see feign.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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"). (Wiktionary)

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 Cañon

  • 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

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

    Chapter 38

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

    More Exercises « Tales from the Reading Room

  • With the epilepsy plus the everything else, I entertain faint hopes that it's all tied together and is some marvelously rare thing that a brilliant diagnostician would see right away and all I have to do is not eat fish or something and poof, cured!

    Friday!

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

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

    November 23, 2012

  • "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