faint

adjective
\ ˈfānt \

Definition of faint

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : lacking courage and spirit : cowardly faint of heart
2 : weak, dizzy, and likely to faint sick and faint from the pain— Jack London
3 : lacking strength or vigor : performed, offered, or accomplished weakly or languidly faint praise a faint smile on her lips
4 : producing a sensation of faintness : oppressive the faint atmosphere of a tropical port
5a : hardly perceptible : dim faint handwriting
b : vague sense 2a haven't the faintest idea

faint

verb
fainted; fainting; faints

Definition of faint (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 archaic : to lose courage or spirit
2 archaic : to become weak
3 : to lose consciousness because of a temporary decrease in the blood supply to the brain

faint

noun

Definition of faint (Entry 3 of 3)

: the physiological action of fainting also : the resulting condition : syncope sense 1

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Other Words from faint

Adjective

faintish \ ˈfān-​tish \ adjective
faintishness noun
faintly adverb
faintness noun

Examples of faint in a Sentence

Adjective

We heard a faint noise. the faint glow of a distant light There was a faint smile on her lips. There's just a faint chance that the weather will improve by tomorrow. a faint reminder of their former greatness I'd better lie down; I feel faint. She felt faint from hunger.

Verb

He always faints at the sight of blood. She almost fainted from the pain. She suffers from fainting spells.

Noun

shocking news can cause a person to fall into a faint
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

It was spotted by an array of small telescopes tasked with finding and observing faint objects. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Talk amongst yourselves: 2018’s most-commented stories on Ars," 24 Dec. 2018 This past weekend, the underground bar at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg was dark and abuzz with low chatter, candlelit with a faint scent of sandalwood. Sarah Nechamkin, The Cut, "A Weekend for Female Directors in Brooklyn," 25 June 2018 The air is crisp and the breeze carries the faint scent of foliage. Lina Zeldovich, Popular Mechanics, "The Vertical Farm That Lifted a Family," 2 June 2016 The slightly taller thigh high, on the other hand, is not for the faint-of-heart. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Kali Uchis Just Raised the Bar on Killer Thigh-High Boots," 9 Jan. 2019 This is a city that rattles and rings with a faint echo of the nursery and the playground, of simple, happy times. Steve King, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why We Keep Going Back to Amsterdam," 24 Dec. 2018 Astronomers have long known that some type of very small, rapidly spinning particle is throwing off this faint light, which is known as anomalous microwave emission (AME). Mike Wall, Space.com, "Puzzling Cosmic Glow Is Caused by Diamond Dust Glamming Up Stars," 11 June 2018 The 72-year-old looked dazed and spoke in a faint voice to acknowledge he was represented by a public defender. NBC News, "DNA used in hunt for Golden State Killer previously led to wrong man," 28 Apr. 2018 The 72-year-old looked dazed and spoke in a faint voice to acknowledge he was represented by a public defender. CBS News, "Search for "Golden State Killer" led to wrong man in 2017," 27 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Or think back to January 1992, when President George H.W. Bush fainted while having dinner with Japan’s prime minister. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Investors Needn’t Fear Trump Impeachment," 23 Aug. 2018 Fresh reports have surfaced claiming N'Golo Kante fainted after first team training on the Friday prior to Chelsea's 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. SI.com, "Reports Claim N'Golo Kante Fainted After Training Session Prior to Manchester City Defeat," 5 Mar. 2018 Three Tyngsborough high school students fainted while talking about blood in their biology class Friday morning, resulting in a schoolwide evacuation, but none of them were seriously injured, officials said. Elise Takahama, BostonGlobe.com, "Three Tyngsborough high school students faint during biology class; school evacuated," 4 May 2018 At least two of Ssentamu’s co-accused fainted during court proceedings, and one of them had required resuscitation, Besigye told reporters. Rodney Muhumuza, The Seattle Times, "Ugandan pop star, government critic Bobi Wine free on bail," 27 Aug. 2018 The smell was so bad passengers were nauseated and allegedly began to faint, according to Newsweek. Alexia Fernandez, ajc, "A man smelled so bad a plane was diverted. Now, he’s dead from necrosis," 28 June 2018 The smell was so bad passengers were nauseous and allegedly began to faint, according to Newsweek. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "Man Who Smelled So Bad a Plane Had to Make Emergency Landing Dies a Month Later of Necrosis," 27 June 2018 Twelve hours after delivery, Mellet stood in line at the airport, still bleeding and lightheaded, willing herself not to faint for fear she would be barred from flying. Isaac Stanley-becker, Washington Post, "How an Irish-American woman’s legal case helped spur Ireland’s abortion referendum," 17 May 2018 Her family alleged in their complaint that Oswell began slurring her speech and fainted, later vomiting and defecating over herself. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "Family Sues American Airlines After Newlywed Nurse, 25, Died After Suffering Embolism Mid-Flight," 30 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These learned essays, heaving with historical and literary references, are not for the faint of heart. Laura Auricchio, WSJ, "‘The Republic of Letters’ Review: A Network of Open Minds," 25 Dec. 2018 Still the busiest shopping day of the year for stores, Black Friday — often maligned, and sometimes brutal — is not for the faint of heart. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "Don’t get the allure of Black Friday? A mother-daughter shopping duo explains," 21 Nov. 2018 And just like the 24-year-old drag star’s fierce confidence and unapologetic attitude, this makeup play-by-play is not for the faint of heart. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Watch Brazilian Pop Star Pabllo Vittar Do Her Spectacular 15-Minute Drag Transformation," 27 Nov. 2018 Getting into the complicated wristwatch game is not for the faint of heart. Cara Barrett, Town & Country, "The Newest Trend in Serious Watch Collecting? Women," 21 Sep. 2018 From alkali flats to scorpions to the cholla cactus that seems to actually leap onto passersby, Nevada is not for the faint of heart. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Fox News Power Rankings: Dean Heller, survivalist," 19 Sep. 2018 Taking away parking spaces is not for the faint of heart. Carlos Waters, Vox, "How Janette Sadik-Khan built New York City’s bicycle renaissance," 12 Sep. 2018 This residence’s views aren’t for the faint of heart, and neither is its price tag. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "Minimalist home with jaw-dropping Rocky Mountain views asks $16.9M," 26 July 2018 The runway is steep—like an amusement park slide—and not for the faint of heart. Lindsay Silberman, Town & Country, "How St. Barth's Survived the Devastating Hurricanes of 2017," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'faint.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of faint

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1792, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for faint

Adjective, Verb, and Noun

Middle English faint, feint, from Anglo-French, from past participle of feindre, faindre to feign, lose heart — more at feign

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Statistics for faint

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for faint

The first known use of faint was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for faint

faint

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of faint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not clearly seen, heard, tasted, felt, etc.
: very slight or small
: weak and dizzy

faint

verb

English Language Learners Definition of faint (Entry 2 of 2)

: to suddenly become unconscious

faint

adjective
\ ˈfānt \
fainter; faintest

Kids Definition of faint

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : not clear or plain : dim faint handwriting
2 : weak or dizzy and likely to collapse I feel faint.
3 : lacking strength a faint attempt a faint breeze

Other Words from faint

faintly adverb
faintness noun

faint

verb
fainted; fainting

Kids Definition of faint (Entry 2 of 3)

: to suddenly lose consciousness

faint

noun

Kids Definition of faint (Entry 3 of 3)

: an act or condition of suddenly losing consciousness

faint

adjective
\ ˈfānt \

Medical Definition of faint

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: weak, dizzy, and likely to faint

Medical Definition of faint (Entry 2 of 3)

: to lose consciousness because of a temporary decrease in the blood supply to the brain

faint

noun

Medical Definition of faint (Entry 3 of 3)

: the physiological action of fainting also : the resulting condition : syncope

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More from Merriam-Webster on faint

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with faint

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for faint

Spanish Central: Translation of faint

Nglish: Translation of faint for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of faint for Arabic Speakers

Comments on faint

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