[ feynt ]
See synonyms for: faintfaintedfainterfainting on Thesaurus.com

adjective,faint·er, faint·est.
  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.

  1. feeling weak, dizzy, or exhausted; about to lose consciousness: faint with hunger.

  2. lacking courage; cowardly; timorous: Faint heart never won fair maid.

  3. Law. unfounded: a faint action.

verb (used without object)
  1. to lose consciousness temporarily.

  2. to lose brightness.

  1. Archaic. to grow weak; lose spirit or courage.

  1. 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; Middle English <Anglo-French, Old French, past participle of faindre, variant of feindre to feign

Other words for faint

Other words from faint

  • fainter, noun
  • faint·ing·ly, adverb
  • faintish, adjective
  • faint·ish·ness, noun
  • faintly, adverb
  • faintness, noun
  • o·ver·faint, adjective
  • o·ver·faint·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·faint·ness, noun
  • un·faint·ing, adjective
  • un·faint·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with faint

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use faint in a sentence

  • The cloud coals grow fainter—now purple; and now in ashes they float away into the chill blue.

  • Presently the thunder grew fainter, and rumbled away down the valley, and the rain spent itself.

    The Box-Car Children | Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • Worse than all, it grew fainter and fainter and soon became little more than a trail.

  • The clanking of the keys grows fainter and fainter; the sound of footsteps dies away.

    Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist | Alexander Berkman

British Dictionary definitions for faint


/ (feɪnt) /

  1. lacking clarity, brightness, volume, etc: a faint noise

  2. lacking conviction or force; weak: faint praise

  1. feeling dizzy or weak as if about to lose consciousness

  2. without boldness or courage; timid (esp in the combination faint-hearted)

  3. not the faintest, not the faintest idea or not the faintest notion no idea whatsoever: I haven't the faintest

  1. to lose consciousness, esp momentarily, as through weakness

  2. archaic, or poetic to fail or become weak, esp in hope or courage

  1. a sudden spontaneous loss of consciousness, usually momentary, caused by an insufficient supply of blood to the brain: Technical name: syncope

Origin of faint

C13: from Old French, from faindre to be idle

Derived forms of faint

  • fainter, noun
  • faintingly, adverb
  • faintish, adjective
  • faintishness, noun
  • faintly, adverb
  • faintness, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with faint


see damn with faint praise.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.