faint vs feeble what difference

what is difference between faint and feeble



  • IPA(key): /feɪnt/
  • Rhymes: -eɪnt
  • Homophone: feint

Etymology 1

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, usually form, shape, frame, form in thought, imagine, conceive, contrive, devise, feign).


faint (comparative fainter, superlative faintest)

  1. (of a being) Lacking strength; weak; languid; inclined to lose consciousness
  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
  4. Performed, done, or acted, weakly; not exhibiting vigor, strength, or energy
  5. Slight; minimal.
    • 2005, Lesley Brown (translator), Plato, Sophist, 243b.
      do you have the faintest understanding of what they mean?
Derived terms
  • damn with faint praise
  • fainten
  • faint-hearted
  • faintish
  • faintling
  • faintly
  • faintness


faint (plural faints)

  1. The act of fainting, syncope.
  2. (rare) The state of one who has fainted; a swoon.
Derived terms
  • faintful
  • faintless
  • faintsome

Etymology 2

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).
    • If I send them away fasting [] they will faint by the way.
    • September 22 1713, Richard Steele, The Guardian No. 167
      But upon hearing the Honour which he intended her , she fainted away , and fell down as Dead at his Feet
  2. (intransitive) To lose courage or spirit; to become depressed or despondent.
  3. (intransitive) To decay; to disappear; to vanish.
    • November 12, 1711, Alexander Pope, letter to Henry Cromwell
      Gilded clouds, while we gaze upon them, faint before the eye.
  • (to lose consciousness): pass out, swoon, sweb, black out, keel over
  • queal

Further reading

  • faint in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • faint in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • faint at OneLook Dictionary Search


  • Fanti, fitna



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.


fàint m (plural fainte)

  1. (Sette Comuni) enemy, fiend


  • “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 forms

  • pa faint (literary)


Shortened from pa faint (what amount).


  • IPA(key): /vai̯nt/



  1. how much, how many

Usage notes

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.



From Middle English feble, from Anglo-Norman feble (weak, feeble) (compare French faible), from Latin flēbilis (tearful, mournful, lamentable). Doublet of foible.


  • IPA(key): /ˈfiːbəl/
  • Rhymes: -iːbəl


feeble (comparative feebler, superlative feeblest)

  1. Deficient in physical strength
    Though she appeared old and feeble, she could still throw a ball.
  2. Lacking force, vigor, or efficiency in action or expression; faint.
    That was a feeble excuse for an example.


  • (physically weak): weak, infirm, debilitated
  • (wanting force, vigor or efficiency): faint

Derived terms



feeble (third-person singular simple present feebles, present participle feebling, simple past and past participle feebled)

  1. (obsolete) To make feeble; to enfeeble.


  • feeble in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • feeble in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.


  • beflee

Middle English



  1. Alternative form of feble

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