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

His work helps astronomers observe increasingly faint stars. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW scientific advances include vitamins, growing human embryonic stem cells in lab," 12 July 2018 The wildly successful Kepler Space Telescope was designed to observe faint stars and monitor them for brief dips in brightness that would indicate the passage of an object—most commonly a planet. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "SpaceX to launch a small planet hunter for NASA on Monday," 16 Apr. 2018 Plus, the lemon leaves behind a very faint smell, adding some extra freshness. Rebecca Shinners, Country Living, "Is This the Secret to Making your Dishes Cleaner Than Ever?," 15 May 2015 But under the surprisingly eggy flavor is a faint and unfortunate sweetness. Alison Roman, WSJ, "Plant-Based ‘Meat’ and ‘Fish’ May Be the Future. But How Do They Taste?," 12 Apr. 2018 The men keep their heads hunched into the shoulders of their coats and their heads bowed against a faint but no less biting wind. Crocker Stephenson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Better Angels: Consider the humble honeybee," 2 Jan. 2018 He was also involved in Belgium’s opening goal, getting the faintest of touches to Eden Hazard’s corner, which flew into the Brazilian net off Fernandinho’s right arm. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "Belgium’s Golden Generation Delivers on Promise With a Run to World Cup Semifinal," 6 July 2018 Chasing the golden boot, Kane relied on his heel to complete his hat trick by getting the faintest of touches to divert Ruben Loftus-Cheek's shot into the net. Rob Harris, chicagotribune.com, "Harry Kane's hat trick in 6-1 rout of Panama puts England in last 16 of World Cup," 24 June 2018 With deft calculation, sharp timing and the faintest of eye-rolls, this insouciant charmer slips into its own private corner where the rules of that restroom apply: no boys allowed. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett pull off an enjoyable, low-fizz heist in 'Ocean's 8'," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 At his brother Jack’s wedding in 1951, the maid of honor, Nancy Hadrath, fainted. Patrick Mcgroarty, WSJ, "Cub Foods Co-Founder Charles Hooley Was a Bargain-Shopping Pioneer," 22 June 2018 Mellet had an adverse reaction to pain medication, which left her weak, bleeding, and struggling not to faint on the flight back to Dublin the next day. Jennifer Duggan, Marie Claire, "Irish Women Want Their Bodies Back," 15 May 2018 The traveling snafu proved to be too much for the woman, who fainted at the check-in counter. Alexandra Deabler, Fox News, "Romantic gesture at Zurich Airport ends in fainting, big bill for travelers," 8 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 But shopping for vintage jeans is a process that isn’t for the faint at heart. Callia Hargrove, Teen Vogue, "Levi's x Karla Wide Leg Jeans Are the Next Best Thing to Vintage Levi's Jeans," 24 May 2018 Warning: These videos are not for the faint of heart. Blake Bakkila, Health.com, "This 20-Minute Pimple Popping Video Will Give You Nightmares," 18 June 2018 The cost of the tours isn't for the faint of heart. Gene Sloan, USA TODAY, "Reindeer herders, eagle hunters: New Silversea tour brings rare encounters in Mongolia," 15 June 2018 But even in the midst of its many boundless pleasures, Incredibles 2 charges us with a mission that’s not for the faint of heart: to choose to look at one another instead of being fixated on the screens all around us. Time, "How ‘Incredibles 2’ Shows What It Means to Be Human," 14 June 2018 As Bryant indicated, the show isn't for the faint of heart; there is no introduction, and there are no breaks. Tim Bontemps, chicagotribune.com, "Kobe Bryant on his ESPN show 'Detail': It's 'not for simple-minded people'," 11 June 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

10 Oct 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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Comments on faint

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