- lacking brightness, vividness, clearness, loudness, strength, etc.: a faint light; a faint color; a faint sound.
- feeble or slight: faint resistance; faint praise; a faint resemblance.
- feeling weak, dizzy, or exhausted; about to lose consciousness: faint with hunger.
- lacking courage; cowardly; timorous: Faint heart never won fair maid.
- Law. unfounded: a faint action.
- to lose consciousness temporarily.
- to lose brightness.
- Archaic. to grow weak; lose spirit or courage.
- a temporary loss of consciousness resulting from a decreased flow of blood to the brain; a swoon: to fall into a faint.
Origin of faint
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for faint
Her voice was raspy and after answering questions she paused, as if about to faint.Jeopardy! Champion Julia Collins’s Brain Feels Like Mush
November 20, 2014
I saw a faint, sweet glimmer of the ferocious protector he once was.No One Ever Loses to Cancer
October 8, 2014
But this time I can plainly hear, through the rush of words, the faint rattle of hysteria that bespeaks a screw loose somewhere.The Stacks: Grateful Dead I Have Known
August 30, 2014
After about an hour, he hears a faint tapping sound from inside the freezer and opens the door.Robin Williams, Hollywood’s Grand Jester, Is Dead at 63
August 12, 2014
A fine book all around, but not a book for the faint of heart.The Gestapo Still Sets the Bar for Evil
James A. Warren
July 13, 2014
With a faint shriek, Eudora sprung forward, and threw herself at his feet.
But as Philothea bent over him, she perceived a faint pulsation of the heart.
"Thank you, no," returned the Persian, with a faint smile of his own.A Night Out
The walls were done in white with a faint blue and silver stripe.Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
There was a rush and faint roar of the flame up the chimney as the cardboard burned.Way of the Lawless
- lacking clarity, brightness, volume, etca faint noise
- lacking conviction or force; weakfaint praise
- feeling dizzy or weak as if about to lose consciousness
- without boldness or courage; timid (esp in the combination faint-hearted)
- not the faintest, not the faintest idea or not the faintest notion no idea whatsoeverI haven't the faintest
- to lose consciousness, esp momentarily, as through weakness
- archaic, or poetic to fail or become weak, esp in hope or courage
- a sudden spontaneous loss of consciousness, usually momentary, caused by an insufficient supply of blood to the brainTechnical name: syncope
Word Origin and History for faint
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.
"grow weak" (c.1300); "lose heart" (mid-14c.); see faint (adj.). Sense of "swoon" is c.1400. Related: Fainted; fainting.
- An abrupt, usually brief loss of consciousness; an attack of syncope.
- Extremely weak; threatened with syncope.