\ 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

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 This was a feint, a way of imagining a miracle fix to tensions and conflicts that had no easy resolution. Kim Phillips-fein, The New Republic, "The Failed Political Promise of Silicon Valley," 27 Sep. 2019 Like his foil Rey, Supreme Leader of the First Order Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is haunted by visions and phantoms, and Abrams constantly teases us with feints about his loyalty. John Wenzel, The Know, "Review: “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” sticks the landing, for the most part," 18 Dec. 2019 Cody distributes them awkwardly among the members of a strained family, painting a tableau of white suburban anomie that feints at depth but, throughout the show’s two and a half hours, is always threatening to dissolve. The New Yorker, "Women’s Worlds in “Jagged Little Pill” and “Fefu and Her Friends”," 9 Dec. 2019 Third-act twists are in ready supply, but none have real impact, because each feels less like a progression and more like a feint toward a more committal, interesting piece of work that never materializes. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) on Netflix and in Theaters This Weekend," 27 Sep. 2019 But then, finally, in the 73rd minute, Greenwood was at last able to break the Kazakh resistance, creating something out of nothing with a duck and a feint and a consummate finish through the legs of Nenad Eric in goal. SI.com, "Manchester United 1-0 Astana: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Red Devils Labour to Opening Victory," 19 Sep. 2019 Thousands march in unison through the deep urban canyons, then abruptly feint and walk in the opposite direction. Matt Bradley, NBC News, "As Hong Kong protests turn violent, one man fights to preserve middle ground," 24 Aug. 2019 Jodl thought the Normandy operation might be a feint. Time, "Inside General Eisenhower’s Sleepless Night Ahead of the D-Day Invasion," 6 June 2019 Receiving a lay-off from Javier Hernandez, Powell bought some space on the edge of the box with a deceiving body feint, before firing in a powerful 25-yard shot into the bottom corner. SI.com, "Daniel James & the Fastest Scoring Debutants in Manchester United History," 14 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sandworm spent years obfuscating and feinting and leaving false flags to suggest that others were behind its handiwork. Dina Temple-raston, Washington Post, "The ruthless Russian hacking unit that tried to crash Ukraine," 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, "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

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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Time Traveler for feint

Time Traveler

The first known use of feint was in 1644

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Statistics for feint

Last Updated

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Feint.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feint?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=f&file=feint001. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for feint


How to pronounce feint (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for feint

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with feint

Spanish Central: Translation of feint

Nglish: Translation of feint for Spanish Speakers

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