Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English faynt, feynt (weak; feeble), from Old French faint, feint (feigned; negligent; sluggish), past participle of feindre, faindre (to feign; sham; work negligently), from Latin fingere (to touch, handle, form, shape, frame, form in thought, imagine, conceive, contrive, devise, feign), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeyǵʰ- (to mold). Cognate with feign and fiction and more distantly dough.


faint (comparative fainter, superlative faintest)

  1. (of a being) Lacking strength; weak; languid; inclined to lose consciousness
    I felt faint after my fifth gin and tonic.
  2. Lacking courage, spirit, or energy; cowardly; dejected
    • 1789, Robert Burns, to Dr. Blacklock
      Faint heart ne'er won fair lady.
  3. Barely perceptible; not bright, or loud, or sharp
    There was a faint red light in the distance.
  4. Performed, done, or acted, weakly; not exhibiting vigor, strength, or energy
    faint efforts
    faint resistance
  5. Slight; minimal.
    • 2005, Lesley Brown (translator), Plato, Sophist, 243b.
      do you have the faintest understanding of what they mean?
  6. (archaic) Sickly, so as to make a person feel faint.
    • 1843, Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit:
      Happening to pass a fruiterer’s on their way; the door of which was open, though the shop was by this time shut; one of them remarked how faint the peaches smelled.
Derived termsEdit


faint (plural faints)

  1. The act of fainting, syncope.
    She suffered another faint.
  2. (rare) The state of one who has fainted; a swoon.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English fainten, feynten, from the adjective (see above).


faint (third-person singular simple present faints, present participle fainting, simple past and past participle fainted)

  1. (intransitive) To lose consciousness through a lack of oxygen or nutrients to the brain, usually as a result of suddenly reduced blood flow (may be caused by emotional trauma, loss of blood or various medical conditions).
  2. (intransitive) To lose courage or spirit; to become depressed or despondent.
  3. (intransitive) To decay; to disappear; to vanish.
Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit




From Middle High German vīnt, vīent, vīant, from Old High German fīant, fīand, from Proto-Germanic *fijandz (enemy, fiend). Cognate with German Feind, English fiend.


faint m (plural fainte)

  1. (Sette Comuni) enemy, fiend
    Biibel péssor möchte zeinan de bèlt as da börn khòone fainte?
    How much better would the world be if there were no enemies?


  • “faint” in Martalar, Umberto Martello; Bellotto, Alfonso (1974) Dizionario della lingua Cimbra dei Sette Communi vicentini, 1st edition, Roana, Italy: Instituto di Cultura Cimbra A. Dal Pozzo


Alternative formsEdit


Shortened from pa faint (what amount).




  1. how much, how many
    am faint o amserfor how long
    am faint o'r glochat what time

Usage notesEdit

Faint means either how many, followed by o and the plural form of a noun with soft mutation, or how much, preceding o and the singular form of a noun, again with soft mutation. Sawl corresponds only to English how many and is followed by the singular form of a noun.