Etymology
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feign (v.)
A 17c. respelling of fain, fein, from Middle English feinen, feynen "disguise or conceal (deceit, falsehood, one's real meaning); dissemble, make false pretenses, lie; pretend to be" (c. 1300), from Old French feindre "hesitate, falter; be indolent; lack courage; show weakness," also transitive, "to shape, fashion; depict, represent; feign, pretend; imitate" (12c.), from Latin fingere "to touch, handle; devise; fabricate, alter, change" (from PIE root *dheigh- "to form, build").

From late 14c. as "simulate (an action, an emotion, etc.)." Related: Feigned; feigning. The older spelling is that of faint, feint, but this word acquired a -g- in imitation of the French present participle stem feign- and the Latin verb.
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unfeigned (adj.)
late 14c., "sincere, genuine, true, real," from un- (1) "not" + past participle of feign (v.).
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faineant (adj.)
1855; earlier as a noun (1610s); from French fainéant (16c.) "do-nothing," from fait, third person singular of faire "to do" (from Latin facere "to make, do," from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put") + néant "nothing" (compare dolce far niente). According to OED this is a French folk-etymology alteration of Old French faignant (14c.), present participle of faindre "to feign" (see feign). Applied in French to the late Merovingian kings, puppets in the hands of the palace mayors. Related: Faineance "the habit of doing nothing."
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*dheigh- 
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to form, build."

It forms all or part of: configure; dairy; dey (n.1) "female servant, housekeeper, maid;" disfigure; dough; effigy; faineant; faint; feign; feint; fictile; fiction; fictitious; figment; figure; figurine; lady; paradise; prefigure; thixotropy; transfigure.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dehah "body," literally "that which is formed," dih- "to besmear;" Greek teikhos "wall;" Latin fingere "to form, fashion," figura "a shape, form, figure;" Old Irish digen "firm, solid," originally "kneaded into a compact mass;" Gothic deigan "to smear," Old English dag, Gothic daigs "dough."
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possum (n.)

American marsupial mammal, 1610s, shortened form of opossum (q.v.). It is nocturnal, omnivorous, and when caught or threatened with danger feigns death; hence the phrase play possum "feign death when threatened," attested by 1822.

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fictitious (adj.)
1610s, "artificial, counterfeit;" 1620s, "existing only in imagination," from Medieval Latin fictitius, a misspelling of Latin ficticius "artificial, counterfeit," from fictus "feigned, fictitious, false," past participle of fingere "to shape, form, devise, feign" (from PIE root *dheigh- "to form, build"). Related: Fictitiously; fictitiousness.
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fictile (adj.)

1620s, "molded or formed by art," from Latin fictilis "made of clay, earthen," from fictio "a fashioning or feigning," noun of action from past participle stem of fingere "to shape, form, devise, feign," originally "to knead, form out of clay" (from PIE root *dheigh- "to form, build"). From 1670s as "capable of being molded." From 1854 as "pertaining to pottery." Related: Fictility.

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simulate (v.)
1620s, "feign, pretend, assume falsely" (implied in simulated), back-formation from simulation or else from Latin simulatus, past participle of simulare "to make like, imitate, copy, represent," from stem of similis "like, resembling, of the same kind" (see similar). Meaning "to use a model to imitate certain conditions for purposes of study or training" is from 1947. Related: Simulating.
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faint (v.)
c. 1300, "grow weak, become enfeebled," also "lack courage or spirit, be faint-hearted," and "to pretend, feign;" from faint (adj.). Sense of "swoon, lose consciousness" is from c. 1400. Also used in Middle English of the fading of colors, flowers, etc. Related: Fainted; fainting. For Chaucer and Shakespeare, also a transitive verb ("It faints me").
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feint (v.)
c. 1300, feinten, "to deceive, pretend" (obsolete), also "become feeble or exhausted; to lack spirit or courage," from Middle English feint (adj.) "feigned, false, counterfeit" and directly from Old French feint "false, deceitful; weak, lazy," past participle of feindre "to hesitate, falter; lack courage; feign, pretend, simulate," from Latin fingere "to touch, handle; devise; fabricate, alter, change" (from PIE root *dheigh- "to form, build"). Sense of "make a sham attack, make a pretended blow" is attested by 1833, from the noun (1680s as "a feigned attack"). Related: Feinted; feinting.
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