One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Pretend to be affected by (a feeling, state, or injury)‘she feigned nervousness’
simulate, fake, sham, affect, give the appearance of, make a show of, make a pretence of, play at, go through the motions ofpretend, put it on, fake, sham, bluff, pose, posture, masquerade, make believe, act, play-act, go through the motions, put on a false displaypretended, simulated, assumed, affected, artificial, insincere, put-on, fake, faked, false, shamView synonyms
- ‘At least three of his opponents claim he feigned injury as a psychological tactic.’
- ‘They are awarded for offences such as grabbing, holding, feigning injury, pushing and turning one's back on an opponent.’
- ‘If a predator approaches an active nest, the adults will give alarm calls and often feign injury to draw the predator away.’
- ‘The parents readily feign injury to distract attention from young which can fly at around three weeks.’
- ‘With knees bent in, they bob back and forth; some of the men almost look like they're feigning broken limbs.’
- ‘In rugby union, if a player's thought to be feigning injury, referees have the discretion to order them from the field.’
- ‘When was the last time we heard a manager berate one of his own players on TV for feigning injury, diving, time-wasting or abusing the referee?’
- ‘People said that I feigned injury and that I winked when I was on the stretcher.’
- ‘Luckily for him, his opponent did not feign injury.’
- ‘In a time of snarling footballers and feigned injuries and all-round nasty behaviour, it is good to see two footballers smile and laugh so much.’
- ‘Being a big coward myself, I think I'd feign an injury rather than be on a team that has to face this Argentinan side.’
- ‘And if that fails, fall to the ground and feign injury to break up your opponents' attack.’
- ‘This is like telling the story of a dream by feigning sleep.’
- ‘Likewise, fighters who feign wounds or injury to lure the enemy within striking range teach their foes to view enemy wounded as a threat, placing all injured soldiers at risk.’
- ‘One can affect unawareness, feign indifference or summon up some other defense against such entreaties.’
- ‘She raises her eyebrows looking amused, then pulls her maybe face and feigns falling asleep on me.’
- ‘Anthony and Maxwell are clamouring for her attention, and now the other girls think she's feigning her injury.’
- ‘Fair enough, there are people who feign injuries and make up claims to make some money, which is totally wrong.’
- ‘Apparently many of his patients try to take him for a ride, feigning injuries to achieve compensation, while other call-outs are totally unnecessary.’
- 1.1archaic Invent (a story or excuse).
- ‘I'm really not going to want to leave this office when the time comes… perhaps I can feign a compelling excuse to stay… any suggestions?’
- ‘Have him or her call you back; it is reasonable to feign a reason for an emergency exit if you are ill at ease.’
- ‘The next day I decide that I can probably safely show up at anytime and feign having made an appointment.’
- 1.2archaic no object Indulge in pretense.
- ‘But anything feigned or forced is to be avoided.’
- ‘He swiftly picked it up, feigning having dropped some of his notes, and unfolded it.’
- ‘Asha feigned considering the offer for a minute, then replied with a smile.’
- ‘Stephanie looked up at him and feigned to be surprised by his visit.’
- ‘Josh put his hand over where I had hit him and feigned being in pain.’
Middle English: from Old French feign-, stem of feindre, from Latin fingere ‘mold, contrive’. Senses in Middle English (taken from Latin) included ‘make something’, ‘invent a story, excuse, or allegation’, hence ‘make a pretense of a feeling or response’. Compare with fiction and figment.
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