Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia.


adj. faint·er, faint·est
a. Done with little strength or vigor; feeble: a faint attempt to apologize.
b. So weak as to be difficult to perceive; a faint light in the distance; a faint echo.
c. Lacking clarity or distinctness: a faint recollection.
d. Small in degree or amount; meager: faint chance of getting a raise.
2. Lacking conviction, boldness, or courage; timid: a tourist who is faint at heart.
3. Likely to fall into a faint; dizzy and weak: felt faint for a moment.
An abrupt, usually brief loss of consciousness, generally associated with failure of normal blood circulation.
intr.v. faint·ed, faint·ing, faints
1. To fall into a usually brief state of unconsciousness.
2. Archaic To weaken in purpose or spirit.

[Middle English, deceitful, cowardly, from Old French, past participle of feindre, to feign; see feign.]

faint′er n.
faint′ly adv.
faint′ness n.


pl n
(Brewing) a variant spelling of feints
References in classic literature ?
A young lady who faints, must be recovered; questions must be answered, and surprizes be explained.
Don't revive her to consciousness, while she only faints.
Such magnanimity and sensibility are like the magnanimity and sensibility of a lady who faints when she sees a calf being killed: she is so kind-hearted that she can't look at blood, but enjoys eating the calf served up with sauce.
In the press of the crowd at this exciting scene Phlipote faints, or nearly faints, when a young man comes kindly to their aid.
Love cannot go wrong unless it be a weakling that faints and stumbles by the way.
The distressed lady, overpowered by old recollections, faints at the end of the dance, and you close in with a picture.
Such gifts as keenness and ready powers of acquisition; for the mind more often faints from the severity of study than from the severity of gymnastics: the toil is more entirely the mind's own, and is not shared with the body.
Rosa faints in going up-stairs, and is carefully carried to her room and laid down on her bed.
And that was she,' replied the locksmith; 'and I no sooner whispered to her what the matter was--as softly, Doll, and with nearly as much art as you could have used yourself--than she gives a kind of scream and faints away.
The lady faints away at the doors of charitable publicans, and the gentleman being accommodated with three-penny worth of brandy to restore her, lays an information next day, and pockets half the penalty.
A faint sketch of the lines Time intended to engrave on Gertrude's brow appeared there as she read the letter; but she hastened to give the admiral's kind regards to her host and hostess, and discussed her mother's health feelingly with them.
At my father's desire I was married to a prince who was my own cousin; but on my very wedding day, I was snatched up by a genius, and brought here in a faint.