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feint

[feynt]
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noun
  1. a movement made in order to deceive an adversary; an attack aimed at one place or point merely as a distraction from the real place or point of attack: military feints; the feints of a skilled fencer.
  2. a feigned or assumed appearance: His air of approval was a feint to conceal his real motives.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to make a feint.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make a feint at; deceive with a feint.
  2. to make a false show of; simulate.
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Origin of feint

1275–1325; Middle English < Old French feinte, noun use of feminine of feint pretended, past participle of feindre to feign
Can be confusedfain faint feign feint
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for feinted

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • For some moments he feinted and lunged, seeking an opening, however slight.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • Just as before, Sutton feinted and saw his opening and swung.

  • Again Conway drove him into a corner of the ropes, feinted for the stomach.

  • The Battler feinted, swaying his body from side to side, and came at him.

    Spring Street

    James H. Richardson

  • Brion feinted and the Lig-magte's arm moved clear of his body.

    Planet of the Damned

    Harry Harrison


British Dictionary definitions for feinted

feint1

noun
  1. a mock attack or movement designed to distract an adversary, as in a military manoeuvre or in boxing, fencing, etc
  2. a misleading action or appearance
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verb
  1. (intr) to make a feint
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Word Origin

C17: from French feinte, from feint pretended, from Old French feindre to feign

feint2

noun
  1. printing the narrowest rule used in the production of ruled paper
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Word Origin

C19: variant of faint
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 feinted

feint

n.

1670s, "a false show, a pretended blow," from French feinte "a feint, sham," abstract noun from Old French feint (13c.) "false, deceitful," originally fem. past participle of feindre (see feign).

Borrowed late 13c. as adjective, but now obsolete in that sense. Also as a noun in Middle English with sense "false-heartedness" (early 14c.), also "bodily weakness" (c.1400).

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feint

v.

c.1300, feinten, "to deceive, pretend," also "become feeble or exhausted; to lack spirit or courage," from feint (adj.); see feint (n.). Cf. Old French feintir "be slow, delay." Sense of "to make a sham attack" is first attested 1833. Related: Feinted; feinting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper