- 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 fainting
As the president neared the end of his remarks, a young woman beside him began to wobble, on the verge of fainting.“No Excuse” For Obamacare Rollout Problems
October 21, 2013
Clinton was hospitalized to treat a ‘clot’ Sunday after a recent illness, fainting, and concussion.How Serious Is Hillary Clinton’s Blood Clot and Hospitalization?
December 31, 2012
Plus, a fainting Clinton is news if only because of the suspicion it will generate.
Emergency rooms are full of the faint, the fainting, and the faint-hearted.
We will seek out our fainting couches if the president dares forget the first name of one of his sacred interrogators.Matt Latimer: Why I Hate Town Halls and Undecided Voters
October 16, 2012
He took Soubise, who was almost in a fainting condition, from his friend.My Double Life
Dora is not fainting—if you would only let her alone, she would do well.Tales And Novels, Volume 9 (of 10)
What amazing importance a fainting fit can sometimes bestow!Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10)
The girl beside her saw her slip back, fainting, on her pillows.The Coryston Family
Mrs. Humphry Ward
I saw that she was on the point of fainting with fright and indignation.A Hero of Our Time
M. Y. Lermontov
- 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 fainting
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.