- lacking brightness, vividness, clearness, loudness, strength, etc.: a faint light; a faint color; a faint sound.
- feeble or slight: faint resistance; faint praise; a faint resemblance.
- feeling weak, dizzy, or exhausted; about to lose consciousness: faint with hunger.
- lacking courage; cowardly; timorous: Faint heart never won fair maid.
- Law. unfounded: a faint action.
- to lose consciousness temporarily.
- to lose brightness.
- Archaic. to grow weak; lose spirit or courage.
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordseasily, delicately, casually, tenderly, moderately, gingerly, softly, simply, mildly, freely, quietly, slightly, sparsely, faintly, subtly, smoothly, gently, comparatively, practically, seldom
Examples from the Web for faintly
The facts are not faintly controversial for those who believe in reality: vaccination saves lives, families, and dollars.Thank You, Croatia: All Hail Mandatory Vaccinations
March 27, 2014
If you listened closely during the bleep, you could faintly hear Jacqueline Bissett still giving her speech.Golden Globes Recap: All the Best, Weirdest Moments You (May Have) Missed
January 13, 2014
Maybe this is The Matrix (the first one that was faintly intelligible) after all.For Newtown Killer, a Dangerous DNA Wild-Goose Chase
December 28, 2012
How do you get that “faintly falling,” that transcendent rhythm?‘The Trial’ & More Top Film Adaptations of Literary Classics (VIDEO)
November 24, 2012
With the thin, vertical scar down his right cheek, the general effect was faintly piratical.Literary Bond Superior to Movie Version
November 11, 2012
She was faintly, agreeably surprised to notice that she was speaking the truth.The Incomplete Amorist
She must be seen, sir—seen—to be ever so faintly appreciated.The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby
Once or twice she delighted him by faintly smiling a response to his speeches.Southern Lights and Shadows
She merely looked up at Coryston, motionless, faintly smiling.The Coryston Family
Mrs. Humphry Ward
She smiled at him faintly, nodding her head as though to keep pace with her thoughts.The Avenger
E. Phillips Oppenheim
- lacking clarity, brightness, volume, etca faint noise
- lacking conviction or force; weakfaint praise
- feeling dizzy or weak as if about to lose consciousness
- without boldness or courage; timid (esp in the combination faint-hearted)
- not the faintest, not the faintest idea or not the faintest notion no idea whatsoeverI haven't the faintest
- to lose consciousness, esp momentarily, as through weakness
- archaic, or poetic to fail or become weak, esp in hope or courage
- a sudden spontaneous loss of consciousness, usually momentary, caused by an insufficient supply of blood to the brainTechnical name: syncope
Word Origin and History for faintly
c.1300, "wanting in courage," now mostly in faint-hearted (mid-15c.), from Old French feint "soft, weak, sluggish," past participle of feindre "hesitate, falter, be indolent, show weakness, avoid one's duty by pretending" (see feign). Sense of "weak, feeble" is early 14c. Meaning "producing a feeble impression upon the senses" is from 1650s.
"grow weak" (c.1300); "lose heart" (mid-14c.); see faint (adj.). Sense of "swoon" is c.1400. Related: Fainted; fainting.
- An abrupt, usually brief loss of consciousness; an attack of syncope.
- Extremely weak; threatened with syncope.
Idioms and Phrases with faintly
see damn with faint praise.