\ ˈfānt How to pronounce feint (audio) \

Definition of feint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something feigned specifically : a mock blow or attack on or toward one part in order to distract attention from the point one really intends to attack The boxer made a feint with his right, then followed with a left hook.


feinted; feinting; feints

Definition of feint (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to make a feint

transitive verb

1 : to lure or deceive with a feint
2 : to make a pretense of

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Choose the Right Synonym for feint


trick, ruse, stratagem, maneuver, artifice, wile, feint mean an indirect means to gain an end. trick may imply deception, roguishness, illusion, and either an evil or harmless end. the tricks of the trade ruse stresses an attempt to mislead by a false impression. the ruses of smugglers stratagem implies a ruse used to entrap, outwit, circumvent, or surprise an opponent or enemy. the stratagem-filled game maneuver suggests adroit and skillful avoidance of difficulty. last-minute maneuvers to avert bankruptcy artifice implies ingenious contrivance or invention. the clever artifices of the stage wile suggests an attempt to entrap or deceive with false allurements. used all of his wiles to ingratiate himself feint implies a diversion or distraction of attention away from one's real intent. a feint toward the enemy's left flank

Examples of feint in a Sentence


The boxer made a feint with his right, then followed with a left hook.


He feinted with his right, then followed with a left hook.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The breeziness is a feint: Anolik has spent years on research, working meticulously to fill in the blanks where Babitz or her compadres had been too drunk to remember. Lidija Haas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 10 Jan. 2019 Mainstream political media and Trump’s opponents in the Democratic Party conceive of politics as chess, a matter of feints and sacrifices and moves made so as to open the way for other moves. David Roth, The New Republic, "Making sense of Donald Trump's petulant reign," 12 June 2019 The alpha male Johnson ruled Humphrey, who returned to the Senate and made a few feints at running for president in 1972 and 1976. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘Hubert Humphrey’ Review: The Man From Minnesota," 31 Aug. 2018 But that doesn’t change what makes him such a devastating playmaker: the pinpoint passes into the outstretched arms of wide receivers, the searing sprints into open space, the ankle-breaking body feints in tight quarters. Chris Johnson And Eric Single, SI.com, "Top 100 College Football Players of 2018: Nos. 10–1," 21 June 2018 The battlefield feint is meant to avoid more Israeli airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, "Russian Airstrikes Hit Southwest Syria, Breaking a Cease-Fire Deal," 24 June 2018 The effect is of one of those long New Yorker-style pieces that blend storytelling with feats of reporting—the elaborate set-up that is a feint, to be dispelled in an act of revelation. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Three Identical Men and a Mystery," 5 July 2018 Without spoiling too much, the movie feints at a tragic ending, but all is resolved in the final seconds. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Review: Netflix's wonderful and weird 'Sense8' gets a pitch-perfect ending (and an orgy)," 8 June 2018 The music on the group’s exciting debut release is a stylistic melange, full of gritty energy and wonderful stylistic feints. Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, "CD review: NakedEye Ensemble, ‘Storylines Crossing’," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Also feinting were designers like Burberry’s Riccardo Tisci and Area’s Piotrek Panszczyk and Beckett Fogg, who used beading to create the effect of a dress layered upon a real one. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Ghosting—The Fall Fashion Edition," 1 Apr. 2019 That does lead us down an interesting path, though: If the story and the stars are a lot of what makes great rom-coms work, and Hollywood is feinting toward more inclusive casting and storytelling, how will rom-coms evolve going forward? Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Why romantic comedies matter," 29 Aug. 2018 The Belgium midfielder feinted one way and then the other, Danny Rose got himself tied up in knots, and Januzaj bent a finish into the top corner. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "Belgium Beats England in World Cup’s No-Win Game," 28 June 2018 These threads, along with a drama school rivalry involving Diana Cowper’s future movie star son, provide more than enough material for Horowitz to feint this way and that before revealing the killer and, just as important, the killer’s motivations. Erik Spanberg, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Word Is Murder' is Anthony Horowitz at his ambitious best," 15 June 2018 Allen feinted left, drove right, spun back to the left – hounded the entire way by Newman – and then jumped back and fired. George Schroeder, USA TODAY, "Malik Newman's metamorphosis has transformed Kansas, and has Jayhawks in Final Four," 26 Mar. 2018 Hart passed to Whitley, who feinted a drive left from the left wing, drawing defenders to her. Rick Armstrong, Aurora Beacon-News, "Repeat performance: Stephanie Hart hits winner as Geneva wins 2nd straight state title," 4 Mar. 2018 Dubbed the Human Joystick, the 5-foot-6 Cohen juked, feinted and dipped past Atlanta defenders en route to rushing for 66 yards, catching eight passes for 47 and a touchdown and returning three punts for 45. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "This Is the Greatest N.F.L. Rookie Class Since ...," 11 Sep. 2017 Here are sentences that feel athletic enough to sprint on for pages, feinting in different directions at once, dropping disparate allusions, tossing off witty asides, refracting competing ironies. Ron Charles, The Mercury News, "Arundhati Roy’s “Ministry” is worth the 20-year wait," 7 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'feint.' 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 feint


1644, in the meaning defined above


1741, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for feint

Noun and Verb

French feinte, from Old French, from feint, past participle of feindre

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Dictionary Entries near feint





Feira de Santana



Statistics for feint

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for feint

The first known use of feint was in 1644

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More Definitions for feint



English Language Learners Definition of feint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

sports : a quick movement that you make to trick an opponent



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

sports : to pretend to make an attack as a trick to fool your opponent : to make a feint


\ ˈfānt How to pronounce feint (audio) \

Kids Definition of feint

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a pretended blow or attack at one point or in one direction to take attention away from the point or direction the attack or blow is really coming from


feinted; feinting

Kids Definition of feint (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a feint The boxer feinted right, then struck with his left.

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More from Merriam-Webster on feint

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with feint

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for feint

Spanish Central: Translation of feint

Nglish: Translation of feint for Spanish Speakers

Comments on feint

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