From Middle English feynen, feinen, borrowed from Old French feindre (“to pretend”), from Latin fingere (“to form, shape, invent”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeyǵʰ- (“to mold”). Compare French feignant (present participle of feindre, literally “feigning”). Also compare feint and fiction.
- IPA(key): /feɪn/
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- Rhymes: -eɪn
- Homophones: fane, foehn, fain (archaic)
- To make a false show or pretence of; to counterfeit or simulate.
- The pupil feigned sickness on the day of his exam.
- They feigned her signature on the cheque.
- 1559, William Shakespeare, As You Like It, III.iii.18-21:
- [T]he truest poetry is the most
- feigning, and lovers are given to poetry, and what
- they swear in poetry may be said as lovers they do
- To imagine; to invent; to pretend to do something.
- He feigned that he had gone home at the appointed time.
- '1511, King James Translators, Nehemiah 5:8:
- Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.
- To make an action as if doing one thing, but actually doing another, for example to trick an opponent.
- 14 August 2013, Daniel Taylor, “Rickie Lambert's debut goal gives England victory over Scotland”, in The Guardian:
- To hide or conceal.
- Jessica feigned the fact that she had not done her homework.