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plural noun
  1. faints.


  1. 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.
  2. a feigned or assumed appearance: His air of approval was a feint to conceal his real motives.
verb (used without object)
  1. to make a feint.
verb (used with object)
  1. to make a feint at; deceive with a feint.
  2. 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 confusedfain faint feign feint


or feints

noun (used with a plural verb)
  1. the impure spirit produced in the first and last stages of the distillation of whiskey.
Compare foreshots.

Origin of faints

1735–45; noun use (in plural) of faint (adj.)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for feints



pl n
  1. the leavings of the second distillation of Scotch malt whisky


pl n
  1. a variant spelling of feints


  1. a mock attack or movement designed to distract an adversary, as in a military manoeuvre or in boxing, fencing, etc
  2. a misleading action or appearance
  1. (intr) to make a feint

Word Origin

C17: from French feinte, from feint pretended, from Old French feindre to feign


  1. printing the narrowest rule used in the production of ruled paper

Word Origin

C19: variant of faint
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

Word Origin and History for feints



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