Definition of feign in English:


Syllabification: feign
Pronunciation: /fān


[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.
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).
More 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.
More 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.


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: