early 14c., "lose brightness, grow pale," from Old French fader "become weak, wilt, wither," from fade (adj.) "pale, weak; insipid, tasteless" (12c.), probably from Vulgar Latin *fatidus, which is said to be a blending of Latin fatuus "silly, tasteless" and vapidus "flat, flavorless." Related: Faded; fading. Of sounds, by 1819. Transitive sense from 1590s; in cinematography from 1918.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:" Do I wake or sleep?
[Keats, from "Ode to a Nightingale"]
"diminish, become less, shrink," 1590s (Shakespeare), apparently diminutive and frequentative of dwine "waste or pine away," from Middle English dwinen "waste away, fade, vanish," from Old English dwinan, from Proto-Germanic *dwinana (source also of Dutch dwijnen "to vanish," Old Norse dvina, Danish tvine "to pine away," Low German dwinen), from PIE *dheu- (3) "to die" (see die (v.)). Related: Dwindled; dwindling.
early 13c., dimmen, of eyes, "become unable to see clearly," perhaps in Old English, from the source of dim (adj.). Sense of "become dim, faint, or obscure, fade" is from early 14c. Transitive sense of "to make dim, faint, or obscure" is from late 14c. Related: Dimmed; dimming.
also appal, early 14c., "to fade;" c. 1400, "to grow pale," from Old French apalir "become or make pale," from a- "to" (see ad-) + palir "grow pale," from Latin pallere "to be pale" (from PIE root *pel- (1) "pale"). The transitive meaning "cause dismay or shock," is 1530s. Related: Appalled; appalling.
Old English wanian "make or become smaller gradually, diminish, decline, fade," from Proto-Germanic *wanōnan (source also of Old Saxon wanon, Old Norse vana, Old Frisian wania, Middle Dutch waenen, Old High German wanon "to wane, to grow less"), from *wano- "lacking," from PIE *weno-, suffixed form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out." Related: Waned; waning; wanes.