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
- ‘She raises her eyebrows looking amused, then pulls her maybe face and feigns falling asleep on me.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Fair enough, there are people who feign injuries and make up claims to make some money, which is totally wrong.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘People said that I feigned injury and that I winked when I was on the stretcher.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘In rugby union, if a player's thought to be feigning injury, referees have the discretion to order them from the field.’
- ‘Anthony and Maxwell are clamouring for her attention, and now the other girls think she's feigning her injury.’
- ‘One can affect unawareness, feign indifference or summon up some other defense against such entreaties.’
- ‘The parents readily feign injury to distract attention from young which can fly at around three weeks.’
- ‘At least three of his opponents claim he feigned injury as a psychological tactic.’
- ‘Luckily for him, his opponent did not feign injury.’
- ‘They are awarded for offences such as grabbing, holding, feigning injury, pushing and turning one's back on an opponent.’
- ‘With knees bent in, they bob back and forth; some of the men almost look like they're feigning broken limbs.’
- ‘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?’
- ‘If a predator approaches an active nest, the adults will give alarm calls and often feign injury to draw the predator away.’
- ‘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).
- ‘Have him or her call you back; it is reasonable to feign a reason for an emergency exit if you are ill at ease.’
- ‘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?’
- ‘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.
- ‘He swiftly picked it up, feigning having dropped some of his notes, and unfolded it.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Asha feigned considering the offer for a minute, then replied with a smile.’
- ‘But anything feigned or forced is to be avoided.’
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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