pretended; sham; counterfeit: feigned enthusiasm.
assumed; fictitious: a feigned name.
disguised: a feigned voice.

Origin of feigned

Middle English word dating back to 1325–75; see origin at feign, -ed2
Related formsfeign·ed·ly [fey-nid-lee] /ˈfeɪ nɪd li/, adverbfeign·ed·ness, noun



verb (used with object)

to represent fictitiously; put on an appearance of: to feign sickness.
to invent fictitiously or deceptively, as a story or an excuse.
to imitate deceptively: to feign another's voice.

verb (used without object)

to make believe; pretend: She's only feigning, she isn't really ill.

Origin of feign

1250–1300; Middle English fei(g)nen < Old French feign-, present stem of feindre < Latin fingere to shape, invent, feign
Related formsfeign·er, nounfeign·ing·ly, adverbun·feign·ing, adjectiveun·feign·ing·ly, adverb
Can be confusedfain faint feign feint

Synonyms for feign

4. See pretend.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for feigned

Contemporary Examples of feigned

Historical Examples of feigned

  • There was nothing forced nor feigned in these testimonials of loyalty to George the Second.

    Old News

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • James Osborne, the youthful cashier, feigned complete paralysis.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • In order to prevent running, I feigned illness, too, and went to another.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • So surely as she came into the room, however, Martin feigned to fall asleep.

  • I asked, in feigned surprise, for I could not resist tormenting her a little.

British Dictionary definitions for feigned



to put on a show of (a quality or emotion); pretendto feign innocence
(tr) to make up; inventto feign an excuse
(tr) to copy; imitateto feign someone's laugh
Derived Formsfeigner, nounfeigningly, adverb

Word Origin for feign

C13: from Old French feindre to pretend, from Latin fingere to form, shape, invent
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

Word Origin and History for feigned



c.1300, from Old French feign-, present participle stem of feindre "pretend, represent, imitate, shirk" (12c.), from Latin fingere "to touch, handle; devise; fabricate, alter, change" (see fiction). Related: Feigned; feigning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper