Word of the Day : September 27, 2014

fainéant

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adjective fay-nay-AHN

Definition

: idle and ineffectual : indolent

Did You Know?

You've probably guessed that fainéant was borrowed from French; it derives from fait-nient, which literally means "does nothing," and ultimately traces back to the verb faindre, or feindre, meaning "to feign." (The English word feign is also descended from this verb, as are faint and feint.) Fainéant first appeared in print in the early 17th century as a noun meaning "an irresponsible idler," and by 1854 it was also being used as an adjective. As its foreignness suggests, fainéant tends to be used when the context calls for a fancier or more elegant word than inactive or sluggish.


Examples

Deanna's parents warned her not to become fainéant during the summer; even if she didn't want to work, she should travel or volunteer somewhere.

"We go on, Beckett-like, enacting the rituals that define existence, trapped in an existential spiral, too fainéant to change, ... doomed to repeat the same mistakes and fall into the same situations." - David Krasner, A History of Modern Drama, 2011



Test Your Memory

Fill in the blanks to create our Word of the Day from September 22nd that means "hungry, greedy": es _ r _ e _ t. The answer is …


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