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Etymology 1[edit]

Borrowed from French feint (pretended), from Old French feindre (to feign).


feint (third-person singular simple present feints, present participle feinting, simple past and past participle feinted)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To make a feint, or mock attack.
    • 1914, Booth Tarkington, Penrod Chapter 22
      when he passed other children on the street, he practised the habit of feinting a blow; then, as the victim dodged, he rasped out the triumphant horse-laugh which he gradually mastered to horrible perfection.
    • 1924, Harold Lamb, Forward
      I spurred on the Turani instead of pulling him in, and stood up in the saddle just as we came upon the two. By feinting a slash at one I made him throw up his saber to guard his head. Then, leaning down as the three ponies came together, I cut at the other’s neck, getting home over his blade. His mount reared and shelled him out of the saddle like a pea out of a pod.
    • 2013, Len Levinson, Meat Grinder Hill
      Gomez feinted with his knife and the other man darted backward. He feinted again and the man moved to the side. The man feinted but Gomez didn't budge; he was anxious to get it on.


feint (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Feigned; counterfeit.
  2. (fencing, boxing, war) (of an attack) directed toward a different part from the intended strike


feint (plural feints)

  1. A movement made to confuse the opponent; a dummy.
  2. Something feigned; an false or pretend appearance; a pretense or stratagem.
  3. (fencing, boxing, war) An offensive movement resembling an attack in all but its continuance
    • 1858, William Hamilton Maxwell, Flood & field; or, The recollections of a soldier of fortune
      Massena's retreat might only be a feint to draw the allies from their position
    • 1999, Allan Skipp, Handbook of Foil Fencing
      It is also possible to deliver a compound riposte by using an indirect feint. The attacking fencer would be open to a compound riposte following a successful parry by their opponent.

Etymology 2[edit]

C19: Variant of faint.


feint (uncountable)

  1. The narrowest rule used in the production of lined writing paper.




Past participle of feindre; from Old French feint, from Latin fictus, probably through the Vulgar Latin form *finctus, with a nasal infix. Compare Italian finto.



feint m (feminine singular feinte, masculine plural feints, feminine plural feintes)

  1. past participle of feindre
  2. third-person singular present indicative of feindre


West Frisian[edit]


(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


feint c (plural feinten, diminutive feintsje)

  1. young man
  2. boy
  3. boyfriend
    Coordinate term: faam

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • feint”, in Wurdboek fan de Fryske taal (in Dutch), 2011