Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

faint

[feynt] /feɪnt/
adjective, fainter, faintest.
1.
lacking brightness, vividness, clearness, loudness, strength, etc.:
a faint light; a faint color; a faint sound.
2.
feeble or slight:
faint resistance; faint praise; a faint resemblance.
3.
feeling weak, dizzy, or exhausted; about to lose consciousness:
faint with hunger.
4.
lacking courage; cowardly; timorous:
Faint heart never won fair maid.
5.
Law. unfounded:
a faint action.
verb (used without object)
6.
to lose consciousness temporarily.
7.
to lose brightness.
8.
Archaic. to grow weak; lose spirit or courage.
noun
9.
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
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French, past participle of faindre, variant of feindre to feign
Related forms
fainter, noun
faintingly, adverb
faintish, adjective
faintishness, noun
faintly, adverb
faintness, noun
overfaint, adjective
overfaintly, adverb
overfaintness, noun
unfainting, adjective
unfaintly, adverb
Can be confused
fain, faint, feign, feint.
Synonyms
1. indistinct, ill-defined, dim, faded, dull, 2. faltering, irresolute, weak. 3. languid. 4. pusillanimous, fearful, timid, dastardly. 6. pass out, black out.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for faintness
Historical Examples
  • Its deplorable peculiarity was, that it was the faintness of solitude and disuse.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • As time went on my sensations of illness and faintness increased.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • Sometimes I had sensations of faintness and exhaustion for which I could not account.

  • The girl leaned forward, thrusting—as if by an effort—some of her faintness from her.

    Mistress Wilding Rafael Sabatini
  • And a faintness, almost a feeling of despair, came over her.

    Kristy's Rainy Day Picnic Olive Thorne Miller
  • But this sort of faintness—a drowsy faintness—passed off quickly.

    Under Western Eyes Joseph Conrad
  • The faintness of chaperons would no longer imperil his comfort.

    'Charge It' Irving Bacheller
  • He sat down because of the faintness in his legs, and for no other reason.

    Victory Joseph Conrad
  • And would they not die in the meanwhile of faintness, because they were very hungry?

    The Young Treasure Hunter Frank V. Webster
  • Shaking off the last traces of faintness with a firm will, she got up.

British Dictionary definitions for faintness

faint

/feɪnt/
adjective
1.
lacking clarity, brightness, volume, etc: a faint noise
2.
lacking conviction or force; weak: faint praise
3.
feeling dizzy or weak as if about to lose consciousness
4.
without boldness or courage; timid (esp in the combination faint-hearted)
5.
not the faintest, not the faintest idea, not the faintest notion, no idea whatsoever: I haven't the faintest
verb (intransitive)
6.
to lose consciousness, esp momentarily, as through weakness
7.
(archaic or poetic) to fail or become weak, esp in hope or courage
noun
8.
a sudden spontaneous loss of consciousness, usually momentary, caused by an insufficient supply of blood to the brain Technical name syncope
Derived Forms
fainter, noun
faintingly, adverb
faintish, adjective
faintishness, noun
faintly, adverb
faintness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from faindre to be idle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for faintness
n.

late 14c., from faint (adj.) + -ness.

faint

adj.

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.

faint

v.

"grow weak" (c.1300); "lose heart" (mid-14c.); see faint (adj.). Sense of "swoon" is c.1400. Related: Fainted; fainting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
faintness in Medicine

faint (fānt)
n.
An abrupt, usually brief loss of consciousness; an attack of syncope. adj.
Extremely weak; threatened with syncope.


faint v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with faintness
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for faint

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for faintness

12
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for faintness