[ 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

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Anglo-French, Old French: literally, “feigned,” past participle of faindre, feindre “to feign”; see 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

  • But in the matter of that wine—the faintest of smiles hovered on her lips, her eyebrows went up a shade.

    St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
  • Without any training in or natural bent for diplomacy, Aguinaldo had not the faintest idea of what foreign “protection” signified.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
  • But nothing was visible, she declared, and she heard not the faintest sound of an animal making off under cover of the darkness.

    Three More John Silence Stories | Algernon Blackwood
  • Well, I havent the faintest knowledge in which direction the entrance lies, Gale said candidly.

  • It fell with the faintest splash, and there was a little puff of spray as his head dipped and the water washed across his lips.

    The Gold Trail | Harold Bindloss

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.