noun (used with a plural verb)

  1. the impure spirit produced in the first and last stages of the distillation of whiskey.

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.
  3. feeling weak, dizzy, or exhausted; about to lose consciousness: faint with hunger.
  4. lacking courage; cowardly; timorous: Faint heart never won fair maid.
  5. Law. unfounded: a faint action.

verb (used without object)

  1. to lose consciousness temporarily.
  2. to lose brightness.
  3. 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.

pl n

  1. a variant spelling of feints


  1. lacking clarity, brightness, volume, etca faint noise
  2. lacking conviction or force; weakfaint praise
  3. feeling dizzy or weak as if about to lose consciousness
  4. without boldness or courage; timid (esp in the combination faint-hearted)
  5. not the faintest, not the faintest idea or not the faintest notion no idea whatsoeverI haven’t the faintest

verb (intr)

  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 brainTechnical name: syncope

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.


  1. An abrupt, usually brief loss of consciousness; an attack of syncope.


  1. Extremely weak; threatened with syncope.

see damn with faint praise.

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