verb (used with object)

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

verb (used without object)

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


  1. to put on a show of (a quality or emotion); pretendto feign innocence
  2. (tr) to make up; inventto feign an excuse
  3. (tr) to copy; imitateto feign someone’s laugh

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.

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