What does feign mean?

Definitions for feign

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word feign.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. feign, sham, pretend, affect, dissembleverb

    make believe with the intent to deceive

    "He feigned that he was ill"; "He shammed a headache"

  2. simulate, assume, sham, feignverb

    make a pretence of

    "She assumed indifference, even though she was seething with anger"; "he feigned sleep"


  1. feignverb

    To represent by a false appearance of; to pretend; to counterfeit.

    The pupil feigned sickness on the day of his exam.

  2. feignverb

    To give a mental existence to something that is not real or actual; to imagine; to invent; to pretend; to form and relate as if true.

    He feigned that he had gone home at the appointed time.

  3. feignverb

    To dissemble; to conceal.

    Jessica feigned the fact that she had not done her homework.

  4. Etymology: feindre, from fingere.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To FEIGNverb

    Etymology: feindre, French; fingo, Latin.

    And these three voices differ; all the things done, the doing and the doer; the thing feigned, the feigning and the feigner; so the poem, the poesy and the poet. Ben Jonson, Discover.

    No such things are done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart. Neh. vi. 8.

    Both his hands, most filthy feculent,
    Above the water were on high extent,
    And feigned to wash themselves incessantly. Edmund Spenser, Fairy Qu.

    Me gentle Delia beckons from the plain,
    Then, hid in shades, eludes her eager swain;
    But feigns a laugh to see me search around. Alexander Pope.

    Each trembling leaf and whistling wind they hear,
    As ghastly bug their hair on end does rear;
    Yet both do strive their fearfulness to feign. Fairy Queen.

  2. To Feignverb

    To relate falsely; to image from the invention.

    Therefore the poet
    Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods;
    Since nought so stockish, hard and full of rage,
    But musick for the time doth change his nature. William Shakespeare.


  1. Feign

    Deception or falsehood is an act or statement that misleads, hides the truth, or promotes a belief, concept, or idea that is not true. It is often done for personal gain or advantage. Deception can involve dissimulation, propaganda and sleight of hand as well as distraction, camouflage or concealment. There is also self-deception, as in bad faith. It can also be called, with varying subjective implications, beguilement, deceit, bluff, mystification, ruse, or subterfuge. Deception is a major relational transgression that often leads to feelings of betrayal and distrust between relational partners. Deception violates relational rules and is considered to be a negative violation of expectations. Most people expect friends, relational partners, and even strangers to be truthful most of the time. If people expected most conversations to be untruthful, talking and communicating with others would require distraction and misdirection to acquire reliable information. A significant amount of deception occurs between some romantic and relational partners.Deceit and dishonesty can also form grounds for civil litigation in tort, or contract law (where it is known as misrepresentation or fraudulent misrepresentation if deliberate), or give rise to criminal prosecution for fraud. It also forms a vital part of psychological warfare in denial and deception.


  1. feign

    Feign means to pretend or imitate, often with the intent to deceive. It involves creating an illusion or giving a false appearance. This term is typically used when someone is trying to make others believe something that isn't true, often to gain some advantage or to avoid some form of punishment.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Feignverb

    to give a mental existence to, as to something not real or actual; to imagine; to invent; hence, to pretend; to form and relate as if true

  2. Feignverb

    to represent by a false appearance of; to pretend; to counterfeit; as, to feign a sickness

  3. Feignverb

    to dissemble; to conceal

  4. Etymology: [OE. feinen, F. feindre (p. pr. feignant), fr. L. fingere; akin to L. figura figure,and E. dough. See Dough, and cf. Figure, Faint, Effigy, Fiction.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Feign

    fān, v.t. to invent: to imagine: to make a show or pretence of, to counterfeit, simulate.—adj. Feigned, pretended: simulating.—adv. Feign′edly.—ns. Feign′edness; Feign′ing. [Fr. feindre, pr.p. feignant, to feign.—L. fingĕre, fictum, to form.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of feign in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of feign in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of feign in a Sentence

  1. Cato the Elder:

    Tis sometimes the height of wisdom to feign stupidity.

  2. Ayanna Pressley:

    For those that continue to feign great surprise about what happened on January 6. As a Black woman, to be barricaded in my office, using office furniture and water bottles on the ground in the dark that terror, those moments of terror, is familiar in a deep and ancestral way for me, i want us to do everything to ensure that a breach like this never occurs at the Capitol, but I want us to address the evil and scourge that is White supremacy in this nation. This is not only about securing the Capitol to ensure that members and our staffs and custodial staff and food service workers are safe in the Capitol. It is that we are safe in America.

  3. Rudyard Kipling:

    There rise her timeless capitals of empires daily born, whose plinths are laid at midnight and whose streets are packed at morn; and here come tired youths and maids that feign to love or sin in tones like rusty razor blades to tunes like smitten tin.

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Translations for feign

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"feign." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/feign>.

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    declare untrue; contradict
    A conceal
    B aggravate
    C observe
    D deny

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