Share this entry

Share this page

feign

Syllabification: feign
Pronunciation: /fān
 
/

Definition of feign in English:

verb

[with object]
1Pretend to be affected by (a feeling, state, or injury): she feigned nervousness
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Fair enough, there are people who feign injuries and make up claims to make some money, which is totally wrong.
  • One can affect unawareness, feign indifference or summon up some other defense against such entreaties.
Synonyms
simulate, fake, sham, affect, give the appearance of, make a pretense of
pretend, put it on, fake, sham, bluff, masquerade, play-act
informal kid
informal pretend, phony
1.1 archaic Invent (a story or excuse).
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • He was supposed to be sitting with her, but the stomach cramps she'd feigned as an excuse for the both of them to stay behind had actually developed.
1.2 [no object] archaic Indulge in pretense.
Example sentences
  • He swiftly picked it up, feigning having dropped some of his notes, and unfolded it.
  • But anything feigned or forced is to be avoided.
  • Josh put his hand over where I had hit him and feigned being in pain.

Origin

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.

Definition of feign in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day jaunt
Pronunciation: dʒɔːnt
noun
a short excursion or journey made for pleasure