One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A deceptive or pretended blow, thrust, or other movement, especially in boxing or fencing.‘a brief feint at the opponent's face’
- ‘Your opponent makes a feint to your six, then hits your eight with a simple lunge.’
- ‘If the attack is commenced when the opponent's blade is not in line, the attack may be completed either direct, or by one disengagement or by a cut-over, or else be preceded by successful feints which oblige the opponent to parry.’
- ‘The self-absorbed men take center stage via a series of furtive crouches, runs, hops, and boxing feints.’
- ‘I thought I gained my respect early and the guy saw that all those feints and tricks were not working.’
- ‘Both players attempt to control the space by confusing the opponent with feints and deceptive moves.’
- 1.1 A mock attack or movement in warfare, made in order to distract or deceive an enemy.
bluff, blind, ruse, deception, subterfuge, hoax, trick, ploy, device, wile, sham, pretence, artifice, cover, smokescreen, distraction, expedient, contrivance, machinationView synonyms
- ‘A feint can force your enemy to tie down huge amounts of forces to protect against an attack that never comes.’
- ‘The German High Command, viewing the Normandy attack as a feint, failed until too late to commit their armored reserves.’
- ‘Fix the enemy in place using skirmishes, artillery, feints, and demonstrations while probing his lines.’
- ‘Account should be taken at the same time of enemy methods of feints and other stratagems.’
- ‘In a more narrow sense, the use of strategy may be seen in demonstrations and feints that surprise the enemy by hitting him where he is unprepared.’
Make a deceptive or distracting movement, especially during a fight.‘Adam feinted with his right and then swung a left’with object ‘‘You would, would you?’ said Bob, feinting punches back at them’
- ‘He took half a step backwards to stabilise himself, before feinting to the left and bringing his sword around to the right.’
- ‘I shifted my grip on my weapon and parried as he feinted at me.’
- ‘He taught me how to feint and pull back and right-hand counter-punch.’
- ‘So we circled each other for some time feinting at one another.’
- ‘Fencing has developed over the centuries to become Europe's most refined martial art, and when one learns how to feint, lunge, parry and riposte it is possible to take this combative art to Olympic level.’
Late 17th century: from French feinte, past participle (used as a noun) of feindre ‘feign’.
Denoting paper printed with faint lines as a guide for handwriting.
Mid 19th century: variant of faint.
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