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

All that time, 'Oumuamua was too faint for the SST to detect. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "It Turns Out the Interstellar Visitor 'Oumuamua Is Just a Little Guy," 15 Nov. 2018 Such a magnitude is extremely faint, about 1 billion times more so than an object visible to the naked eye. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Elon Musk’s Tesla roadster reaches its farthest point from the Sun," 8 Nov. 2018 Get our daily newsletter There is still a faint hope that July 6th will pass without the tariffs coming into force. The Economist, "A full-blown trade war between America and China looks likely," 21 June 2018 The Red Wings entered the draft lottery with faint hopes of acquiring the top pick and taking Rasmus Dahlin. Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' rebuild intrigues most among all four in Motor City," 7 May 2018 The omnipresence of social media and reality TV and an endless barrage of media coverage have robbed the general public of the kind of innocence that made adults faint at the sight of Michael Jackson at the height of his pop mega-stardom. Stereo Williams, Billboard, "Why Comparing Beyonce to Michael Jackson Shouldn't Shock Anyone Anymore," 20 Apr. 2018 Nicole Leszczynski was doing her weekly grocery shopping with her family when the pregnant mom began to feel faint. Redbook, "The Great Mom Debate: Is Feeding Your Kids in the Store Stealing?," 13 Nov. 2011 Usually, my wallet and the faint memory of muscle pain send me on a short run instead. Crystal Paul, The Seattle Times, "Barre class looks easy? Think again," 28 Nov. 2018 Nobody was exactly fiddling, but there’s more than a faint whiff of carbon in the air. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "California’s Tech Titans Fight Fires of Their Own," 16 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Most of them would faint at the first bloody bandage. Lily Rothman, Time, "How the Real Pilots of Mercury 13 Made the Case for the U.S. to Send Women to Space," 19 Apr. 2018 At one point in the hearing, Venckiene fainted and Kendall ordered a 10-minute recess, despite Venckiene’s protests. Ted Gregory, chicagotribune.com, "Suburban woman who fears persecution for exposing corruption in Lithuania fails to convince judge to halt extradition," 12 July 2018 The Rock trumpeted on Twitter, an announcement that presumably caused Queen Elizabeth’s press secretary on The Crown to immediately faint. Julie Miller, HWD, "The Crown’s Princess Margaret and The Rock Are Making a Fast & Furious Spin-Off Together," 3 July 2018 The beating was so severe that Risha’s 11-year-old friend fainted as Alamo’s followers continued to paddle his bruised, bloody, and unconscious body. refinery29.com, "How Brutal Cult Leader Tony Alamo Amassed A Fortune With Bedazzled Denim Jackets," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Not for the faint of heart, the ride spans 105 miles from Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand in the French Alps with more than 13,000 feet of climbing. Jen Murphy, WSJ, "Cyclists Create an Alpine Training Regimen—in Delaware," 7 July 2018 An 18-hour rave at an undisclosed warehouse in Bushwick, Brooklyn (ticket holders will receive the address via email), is not an endeavor for the faint of heart. New York Times, "13 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 5 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

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

Verb

see faint entry 1

Noun

see faint entry 1

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Statistics for faint

Last Updated

19 Dec 2018

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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