feint

Did you ever tell your parents you were going off to school, grabbed your book bag, and headed out the door...only to spend the rest of the day hanging out with your friends? Well, that was a feint, a super sneaky move designed to fool someone.

Although military and political tactics are big on feints, their most common use is probably in sports — particularly boxing, where opponents are continually trying to fake each other out. As in Dundee's account of an Ali-Frazier match: "Ali feinted with a jab, and Frazier threw one of his own, missing." Not to be confused with faint, meaning "weak or feeble." However, a feint can be deliberately faint, as Ali knew and Frazier found out when the real right hook made contact.

Definitions of feint
  1. noun
    any distracting or deceptive maneuver (as a mock attack)
    see moresee less
    types:
    fake, juke
    (football) a deceptive move made by a football player
    type of:
    maneuver, manoeuvre, tactical maneuver, tactical manoeuvre
    a move made to gain a tactical end
  2. verb
    deceive by a mock action
    “The midfielder feinted to shoot”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    assume, feign, sham, simulate
    make a pretence of
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