\ \ [13] Feign is first cousin to faint. It comes from the present stem of Old French faindre or feindrepretend, shirk’, whose past participle gave English faint. This in turn came from Latin fingeremake, shape’, which also gave English effigy, fiction, figure, and figment and is related to English dairy and dough. The semantic progression from ‘make, shape’ to ‘reform or change fraudulently’, and hence ‘pretend’, had already begun in classical Latin times.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • feign´er — feign «fayn», transitive verb. 1. to put on a false appearance of; make believe; pretend: »Some animals feign death when in danger. SYNONYM(S): assume, affect, simulate, sham. 2. to make up to deceive; invent falsely: »to feign an excuse …   Useful english dictionary

  • Feign — Feign, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Feigned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Feigning}.] [OE. feinen, F. feindre (p. pr. feignant), fr. L. fingere; akin to L. figura figure,and E. dough. See {Dough}, and cf. {Figure}, {Faint}, {Effigy}, {Fiction}.] 1. To give a mental …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • feign — c.1300, from O.Fr. feign , prp. stem of feindre pretend, represent, imitate, shirk (12c.), from L. fingere to touch, handle; devise; fabricate, alter, change (see FICTION (Cf. fiction)). Related: Feigned; feigning …   Etymology dictionary

  • feign — feign; feign·er; …   English syllables

  • feign — I verb affect, beguile, belie, cheat, concoct, counterfeit, create a false appearance, deceive, delude, disguise, dissemble, dissimulate, distort the truth, fabricate, falsify, fingere, imagine, imitate deceptively, impersonate, lack candor, he… …   Law dictionary

  • feign — [feın] v [T] formal [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: feindre, from Latin fingere to shape, pretend ] to pretend to have a particular feeling or to be ill, asleep etc ▪ Feigning a headache, I went upstairs to my room …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • feign — [ feın ] verb transitive FORMAL to pretend to have a particular feeling: OK, she said, feigning indifference …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • feign — simulate, counterfeit, sham, pretend, affect, *assume Analogous words: fabricate, manufacture, forge (see MAKE): dissemble, *disguise, cloak, mask, camouflage …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • feign — [v] pretend act, affect, assume, bluff*, counterfeit, devise, dissemble, dissimulate, do a bit*, fabricate, fake, forge, four flush*, give appearance of, imagine, imitate, invent, make show of*, phony up*, play, play possum*, put on, put on act* …   New thesaurus

  • feign — ► VERB ▪ pretend to be affected by (a feeling, state, or injury). ORIGIN Old French feindre, from Latin fingere mould, contrive …   English terms dictionary

  • feign — [fān] vt. [ME feinen < OFr feindre (prp. feignant) < L fingere, to touch, handle, shape: see FIGURE] 1. Obs. to form; shape 2. to make up (a story, excuse, etc.); invent; fabricate 3. to make a false show of; pretend; imitate; simulate 4.… …   English World dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.