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[feynt] /feɪnt/
a movement made in order to deceive an adversary; an attack aimed at one place or point merely as a distraction from the real place or point of attack:
military feints; the feints of a skilled fencer.
a feigned or assumed appearance:
His air of approval was a feint to conceal his real motives.
verb (used without object)
to make a feint.
verb (used with object)
to make a feint at; deceive with a feint.
to make a false show of; simulate.
Origin of feint
1275-1325; Middle English < Old French feinte, noun use of feminine of feint pretended, past participle of feindre to feign
Can be confused
fain, faint, feign, feint.


[feynts] /feɪnts/
plural noun
1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for feint
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She made a feint of accepting the herb, and then pointed to him and to the road.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • And yet it was ministered to, in a dull and abortive manner, by all who made this feint.

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • He made a feint, as if he were about to strike his pike between its eyes.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • "Forgive me if I have stayed too long," she said, making a feint of opening the door.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • That which should have been the real attack shall be no more than a feint.

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
  • Not bad, that feint––but dangerous, because of the possibility of misjudging the attack.

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
  • Salem held one under his nose, in spite of a feint to interrupt them by the soldiers.

    The Siege of Boston Allen French
  • Catlike though it was, the feint did not take the big fellow unprepared.

    Nan of Music Mountain Frank H. Spearman
  • As I was falling it came over me that the attack was only a feint to keep us busy.

    The Pirate of Panama William MacLeod Raine
British Dictionary definitions for feint


a mock attack or movement designed to distract an adversary, as in a military manoeuvre or in boxing, fencing, etc
a misleading action or appearance
(intransitive) to make a feint
Word Origin
C17: from French feinte, from feint pretended, from Old French feindre to feign


(printing) the narrowest rule used in the production of ruled paper
Word Origin
C19: variant of faint


plural noun
the leavings of the second distillation of Scotch malt whisky
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
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Word Origin and History for feint

1670s, "a false show, a pretended blow," from French feinte "a feint, sham," abstract noun from Old French feint (13c.) "false, deceitful," originally fem. past participle of feindre (see feign).

Borrowed late 13c. as adjective, but now obsolete in that sense. Also as a noun in Middle English with sense "false-heartedness" (early 14c.), also "bodily weakness" (c.1400).


c.1300, feinten, "to deceive, pretend," also "become feeble or exhausted; to lack spirit or courage," from feint (adj.); see feint (n.). Cf. Old French feintir "be slow, delay." Sense of "to make a sham attack" is first attested 1833. Related: Feinted; feinting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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