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1

fain

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adjective \ˈfān\

Definition of fain

  1. 1 archaic :  happy, pleased

  2. 2 archaic :  inclined, desirous

  3. 3 a :  willing <he was very fain, for the young widow was “altogether fair and lovely…” — Amy Kelly> b :  being obliged or constrained :  compelled <Great Britain was fain to devote its whole energy … to the business of slaying and being slain — G. M. Trevelyan>



Examples of fain

  1. <during the Renaissance most men of science and the arts were fain to express their noblest thoughts in Latin, the lingua franca of the learned>



Origin of fain

Middle English fagen, fayn, from Old English fægen; akin to Old English gefēon to rejoice, Old High German gifehan, Old Norse feginn happy


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

fain

adverb

Definition of fain

  1. 1 :  with pleasure :  gladly <a speech of fire that fain would blaze — Michael Billington>

  2. 2 a :  by preference <knew it, too, though he would fain not admit it publicly — John Lukacs> b :  by desire <I would fain consult you — W. S. Gilbert>



Examples of fain

  1. <I would fain not marry that suitor, my lord, the princess pleaded>



12th Century

First Known Use of fain

12th century



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