Something faint has no courage or vigor. If you suddenly round the corner and see a gang of bullies staring straight at you, chances are you'll feel faint.

Faint comes from the French feindre, for being cowardly or shirking duties. We usually use it to mean without great strength. If you faint, you pass out, from low blood supply to your brain. If you feel faint, you feel weak. Faint also means dim or vague. If you're staring out to sea, you might see the faint outline of an approaching ship. If you really can't remember the answer to something, say you "haven't the faintest idea."

Definitions of faint
  1. adjective
    deficient in magnitude; barely perceptible; lacking clarity or brightness or loudness etc
    “a faint outline”
    “the wan sun cast faint shadows”
    “the faint light of a distant candle”
    “a faint hissing sound”
    “a faint aroma”
    synonyms: weak
    capable of being perceived by the mind or senses
  2. adjective
    lacking clarity or distinctness
    “only a faint recollection”
    synonyms: dim, shadowy, vague, wispy
    not clearly defined or easy to perceive or understand
  3. adjective
    indistinctly understood or felt or perceived
    “a faint clue to the origin of the mystery”
    “haven't the faintest idea”
    not clearly defined or easy to perceive or understand
  4. verb
    pass out from weakness, physical or emotional distress due to a loss of blood supply to the brain
    synonyms: conk, pass out, swoon
    see moresee less
    type of:
    black out, pass out, zonk out
    lose consciousness due to a sudden trauma, for example
  5. noun
    a spontaneous loss of consciousness caused by insufficient blood to the brain
    synonyms: deliquium, swoon, syncope
    see moresee less
    type of:
    loss of consciousness
    the occurrence of a loss of the ability to perceive and respond
  6. adjective
    weak and likely to lose consciousness
    “suddenly felt faint from the pain”
    “was sick and faint from hunger”
    synonyms: light, light-headed, lightheaded, swooning
    ill, sick
    affected by an impairment of normal physical or mental function
  7. adjective
    lacking conviction or boldness or courage
    faint heart ne'er won fair lady”
    synonyms: faint-hearted, fainthearted, timid
    cowardly, fearful
    lacking courage; ignobly timid and faint-hearted
  8. adjective
    lacking strength or vigor
    “damning with faint praise”
    faint resistance”
    synonyms: feeble
    wanting in physical strength
Commonly confused words

faint / feint

Anything faint is barely there, but a feint is a fake out. If your understanding of these words is still somewhat faint, never fear! Just keep reading...

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Word Family

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