A feint is a fake attack. It can also be a pretense, or a fake appearance.
Part of speech:
(Countable nouns, like “bottle,” “piece,” and “decision,” are words for things that can be broken into exact units. You talk about “a bottle,” “three pieces,” and “many decisions.”
Likewise, talk about one feint or multiple feints.)
It's also a verb: to feint is to make a fake attack, or to pretend to do one thing when you're actually going to do something else.
How to use it:
Talk about someone's feint, or say that some action is just a feint, or a feint of somebody, or a feint to accomplish some goal: "Her apparent shyness is merely a feint." "The delay is a feint of the department to prevent us from making a change."
You can make a feint, or make a feint of doing one thing when you're actually planning something else: "Being interested in people's pets was the feint he made to avoid too much dull conversation." Alternatively, "He made a feint of finding and petting their pets, successfully dodging all the dull conversation."
Because a feint is basically a motion, or a course of action, the word is often followed by a preposition: a feint at, to, or toward something, as in "a feint at power," "a feint to the left," or "a feint toward modesty."
Canceling large portions of her tour was, sadly, a feint to distract from poor ticket sales.
Stalling for more time to think, I made a feint of recopying the math problem more neatly.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "feint" means when you can explain it without saying "sneaky movement" or "deceptive action."
Think of the last time you or someone you know had to be sneaky or create a cover story, and fill in the blanks: "In order to _____, (person) had to make a feint of (doing something else.)"
Example: "In order to bake surprise birthday cupcakes, Chad had to make a feint of getting up extra-early for a 'meeting.'"
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're playing with song lyrics that include words featured in issues of Make Your Point. I’ll give you a few lines from the song, with a blank where our word appears, along with its definition. See if you can come up with it! You can follow the link to see the right answer right away, or just wait until the following day’s issue. Have fun!
Yesterday's lyrics: Artist: Rage Against the Machine Title: Roll Right Lyrics: We gotta take 'em to tha seventh level
For their lives and my lives were never settled
Come on, don't freeze when ____ ____ comes Definition (two words:) the scheduled starting time for something important, or any very important and decisive point in time
Answer: zero hour
Try this one today:
Artist: Fiona Apple Title: Never is a Promise Lyrics: But as the scenery grows
I see in different lights
The shades and shadows
_____ in my perception Definition: to move in waves. (We studied the adjective, but use the verb here.)
Martin Luther King Jr.: “Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.”
1. The closest opposite of FEINT is
2. In a feint that _____ no one, they _____.
A. surprised .. admitted they were in over their heads and truly needed help
B. disappointed .. put on a fast-paced show with unflagging energy
C. fooled .. claimed to be restaurant critics and asked for freebies
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Tom, a Make Your Point subscriber, actually suggested today's word via email last summer. "Feint" had sprung to his mind simply because he likes it. Hey, so do I! I hope you like it, too! :)
Judging from readers' emailed comments, the following other words are heartily liked: defenestrate, jeu d'esprit, and kludge. Something about them makes us giggle or gives us a precise way to express what had been on the tip of our tongues. Could you recall exactly what those words mean?
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