Meaning of feign in English:


Pronunciation /feɪn/

See synonyms for feign

Translate feign into Spanish


[with object]
  • 1Pretend to be affected by (a feeling, state, or injury)

    ‘she feigned nervousness’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘People said that I feigned injury and that I winked when I was on the stretcher.’
    • ‘If a predator approaches an active nest, the adults will give alarm calls and often feign injury to draw the predator away.’
    • ‘In rugby union, if a player's thought to be feigning injury, referees have the discretion to order them from the field.’
    • ‘Apparently many of his patients try to take him for a ride, feigning injuries to achieve compensation, while other call-outs are totally unnecessary.’
    • ‘Anthony and Maxwell are clamouring for her attention, and now the other girls think she's feigning her injury.’
    • ‘Luckily for him, his opponent did not feign injury.’
    • ‘And if that fails, fall to the ground and feign injury to break up your opponents' attack.’
    • ‘When was the last time we heard a manager berate one of his own players on TV for feigning injury, diving, time-wasting or abusing the referee?’
    • ‘They are awarded for offences such as grabbing, holding, feigning injury, pushing and turning one's back on an opponent.’
    • ‘In a time of snarling footballers and feigned injuries and all-round nasty behaviour, it is good to see two footballers smile and laugh so much.’
    • ‘At least three of his opponents claim he feigned injury as a psychological tactic.’
    • ‘Being a big coward myself, I think I'd feign an injury rather than be on a team that has to face this Argentinan side.’
    • ‘The parents readily feign injury to distract attention from young which can fly at around three weeks.’
    • ‘This is like telling the story of a dream by feigning sleep.’
    • ‘With knees bent in, they bob back and forth; some of the men almost look like they're feigning broken limbs.’
    • ‘She raises her eyebrows looking amused, then pulls her maybe face and feigns falling asleep on me.’
    simulate, fake, sham, affect, give the appearance of, make a show of, make a pretence of, play at, go through the motions of
    pretend, put it on, fake, sham, bluff, pose, posture, masquerade, make believe, act, play-act, go through the motions, put on a false display
    pretended, simulated, assumed, affected, artificial, insincere, put-on, fake, faked, false, sham
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 archaic Invent (a story or excuse).
      ‘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.’
      • ‘The next day I decide that I can probably safely show up at anytime and feign having made an appointment.’


Middle English from Old French feign-, stem of feindre, from Latin fingere ‘mould, contrive’. Senses in Middle English (taken from Latin) included ‘make something’, ‘invent a story, excuse, or allegation’, hence ‘make a pretence of a feeling or response’. Compare with fiction and figment.