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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/
Audio (US) (file) Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -eɪn
- Homophones: fane, foehn, fain (archaic)
feign (third-person singular simple present feigns, present participle feigning, simple past and past participle feigned)
- 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
- 1847 January – 1848 July, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 2, in Vanity Fair […], London: Bradbury and Evans […], published 1848, →OCLC:
- She had not been much of a dissembler, until now her loneliness taught her to feign.
- 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; to feint.
- 14 August 2013, Daniel Taylor, “Rickie Lambert's debut goal gives England victory over Scotland”, in The Guardian:
- Cahill was beaten far too easily for Miller's goal, although the striker deserves the credit for the way he controlled Alan Hutton's right-wing delivery, with his back to goal, feigned to his left then went the other way and pinged a splendid left-foot shot into Hart's bottom right-hand corner.
- To hide or conceal.
- Jessica feigned the fact that she had not done her homework.
- (represent by a false appearance): front, put on airs
- See Thesaurus:deceive
to make a false show
to imagine, to invent, to pretend; to give a mental existence to something
to hide, conceal, or dissemble
- ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “feign”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
- English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *dʰeyǵʰ-
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- Rhymes:English/eɪn/1 syllable
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