\ 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

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

Noun The boxer made a feint with his right, then followed with a left hook. Verb He feinted with his right, then followed with a left hook.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His response is calculated and cold, perhaps suggesting that the Jeter persona was a brilliant feint rather than naturally vanilla. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 July 2022 Doubtless, the greedflationists will explain in due course how this is all part of some deeper scheme, a feint perhaps to trap the unwary. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 21 May 2022 The knowing smiles on Muti, Hanna, and CSO strings’ faces at the end of the concerto made their corny feint into B major at the end — present in some of Bottesini’s many versions of the concerto, axed in others — almost forgivable. Hannah Edgar, Chicago Tribune, 29 Apr. 2022 That could prove more difficult if Mr. Putin decided to move some of his forces back — whether as a real retreat or a strategic feint. New York Times, 26 Mar. 2022 General Rudskoi’s statement could also be a feint as Russia regroups for a new offensive. New York Times, 25 Mar. 2022 Nobody ever said taking on Florida’s political machine was for the feint of heart—which may be why so few companies in the tourism industry have done it. Zach Everson, Forbes, 18 Mar. 2022 His outreach to Latin America could be a feint, a way to complicate the West’s response to his threatened invasion of Ukraine. New York Times, 15 Feb. 2022 The initial reaction within the Biden Administration was to question whether the Russian move was yet another feint. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, 15 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Unlike Nolan, who wrestled with political questions in his Batman films—successfully or not—Snyder’s movies feint toward depth. Eliana Dockterman, Time, 15 Mar. 2021 But instead of just directly attacking the tackle’s near shoulder off the snap, Crawford disguises his intention by feinting a speed rush. John Owning, Dallas News, 3 June 2020 Sandworm spent years obfuscating and feinting and leaving false flags to suggest that others were behind its handiwork. Dina Temple-raston, Washington Post, 26 Dec. 2019 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 26 Mar. 2018 See More

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.

First Known Use of feint


1644, in the meaning defined above


1741, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for feint


borrowed from French feinte, going back to Middle French fainte, feinte "act of dissembling, subterfuge," noun derivative from feminine past participle of feindre "to fabricate, dissemble, feign"


derivative of feint entry 1

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Feira de Santana

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Last Updated

26 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Feint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feint. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on feint

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for feint

Nglish: Translation of feint for Spanish Speakers


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