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.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.