faint

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English faynt, feynt ‎(weak; feeble), from Old French faint, feint ‎(feigned; negligent; sluggish), past participle of feindre, faindre ‎(to feign; sham; work negligently), from Latin fingere ‎(to touch, handle, usually form, shape, frame, form in thought, imagine, conceive, contrive, devise, feign).

Adjective[edit]

faint ‎(comparative fainter, superlative faintest)

  1. Lacking strength; weak; languid; inclined to swoon; as, faint with fatigue, hunger, or thirst.
  2. Wanting in courage, spirit, or energy; timorous; cowardly; dejected; depressed.
    "Faint heart ne'er won fair lady." Robert Burns - To Dr. Blackjack.
  3. Lacking distinctness; hardly perceptible; striking the senses feebly; not bright, or loud, or sharp, or forcible; weak; as, a faint color, or sound.
  4. Performed, done, or acted, in a weak or feeble manner; not exhibiting vigor, strength, or energy; slight; as, faint efforts; faint resistance.
    • Sir J. Davies
      the faint prosecution of the war
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 243b.
      do you have the faintest understanding of what they mean?
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

faint ‎(plural faints)

  1. The act of fainting, syncope.
  2. (rare) The state of one who has fainted; a swoon.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English fainten, feynten, from the adjective (see above).

Verb[edit]

faint ‎(third-person singular simple present faints, present participle fainting, simple past and past participle fainted)

  1. (intransitive) To lose consciousness. Caused by a lack of oxygen or nutrients to the brain, usually as a result of a suddenly reduced blood flow (may be caused by emotional trauma, loss of blood or various medical conditions).
    • Bible, Mark viii. 8
      If I send them away fasting [] they will faint by the way.
    • Guardian
      Hearing the honour intended her, she fainted away.
  2. To sink into dejection; to lose courage or spirit; to become depressed or despondent.
    • Bible, Proverbs xxiv. 10
      If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
  3. To decay; to disappear; to vanish.
    • Alexander Pope
      Gilded clouds, while we gaze upon them, faint before the eye.
Synonyms[edit]
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Welsh[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Shortened from pa faint ‎(what amount).

Pronunciation[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

faint

  1. how much, how many

Usage notes[edit]

Faint means either how many, followed by o and the plural form of a noun with soft mutation, or how much, preceding o and the singular form of a noun, again with soft mutation. Sawl corresponds only to English how many and is followed by the singular form of a noun.