Definition of fain in English:

fain

Line breaks: fain
Pronunciation: /feɪn
 
/
archaic

adjective

[with infinitive]
  • 1Pleased or willing under the circumstances: the traveller was fain to proceed
    More example sentences
    • He held out his hand watching me, but I fain to think that I would still question myself, pulled away.’
  • 2Compelled by the circumstances; obliged: he was fain to acknowledge that the agreement was sacrosanct
    More example sentences
    • This functionary, however well disposed to my friend, could not altogether conceal his chagrin at the turn which affairs had taken, and was fain to indulge in a sarcasm or two about the propriety of every person minding his own business.
    • In Smith's Discourse of the Commonweal, a maker of caps is made to say: ‘I am fain to give my journeymen twopence in a day more than I was wont to do, and yet they say they cannot sufficiently live thereon.
    • If you would grant but my request, I then most surely should be blest; But if you treat me with disdain, To hang myself I now would fain; Then pray consent and make me thine, To save from death your Valentine.

adverb

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  • Gladly: I am weary and would fain get a little rest
    More example sentences
    • I would fain be friends with you, for their sake.
    • ‘Depend upon it that, rude and careless as I am, I would fain practice the yoga faithfully,’ he writes.
    • There was something else which she would fain have said, and she stabbed with her finger into the air in the direction of the Doctor's [i.e. her stepfather's room], but a fresh convulsion seized her and choked her words.

Origin

Old English fægen 'happy, well pleased', of Germanic origin, from a base meaning 'rejoice'; related to fawn2.

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