- 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 faintness
Its deplorable peculiarity was, that it was the faintness of solitude and disuse.A Tale of Two Cities
As time went on my sensations of illness and faintness increased.The First Violin
Sometimes I had sensations of faintness and exhaustion for which I could not account.The Woman Thou Gavest Me
The girl leaned forward, thrusting—as if by an effort—some of her faintness from her.Mistress Wilding
And a faintness, almost a feeling of despair, came over her.Kristy's Rainy Day Picnic
Olive Thorne Miller
- 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 faintness
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.