[fey-nee-uh nt; French fe-ney-ahn]See more synonyms for fainéant on Thesaurus.com
- Also fai·ne·ant [fey-nee-uh nt] /ˈfeɪ ni ənt/. idle; indolent.
noun, plural fai·né·ants [fey-nee-uh nts; French fe-ney-ahn] /ˈfeɪ ni ənts; French fɛ neɪˈɑ̃/.
- an idler.
Origin of fainéant
1610–20;Related formsfai·ne·ance [fey-nee-uh ns] /ˈfeɪ ni əns/, noun
literally, he does nothing, pseudo-etymological alteration of Old French faignant
idler, noun use of present participle of se faindre
to shirk. See feign
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for faineanceDerived Formsfaineance or faineancy, noun
C17: from French, modification of earlier fait-nient (he) does nothing, by folk etymology from Old French faignant shirker, from faindre to be lazy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for faineance
1610s (n.), from French fainéant (16c.) "do-nothing," from fait, third person singular present tense of faire (see factitious) + néant "nothing" (cf. dolce far niente).
A French folk etymology of Old French faignant (14c.), present participle of faindre "to feign" (see feign). As an adjective, from 1855.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper