fain

[ feyn ]
/ feɪn /

adverb

gladly; willingly: He fain would accept.

adjective

content; willing: They were fain to go.
Archaic. constrained; obliged: He was fain to obey his Lord.
Archaic. glad; pleased.
Archaic. desirous; eager.

QUIZZES

DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?

"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
Question 1 of 10
decorum

Origin of fain

before 900; Middle English; Old English fæg(e)n; cognate with Old Norse feginn happy; akin to fair1

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH fain

fain faint feign feint
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for fainer

fain
/ (feɪn) /

adverb

(usually with would) archaic willingly; gladlyshe would fain be dead

adjective

obsolete
  1. willing or eager
  2. compelled

Word Origin for fain

Old English fægen; related to Old Norse fegiun happy, Old High German gifehan to be glad, Gothic fahehs joy; see fawn ²
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