Etymology
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feint (n.)
1670s, "a false show, assumed appearance;" 1680s as "a pretended blow, movement made to deceive an opponent as to the object of an attack," from French feinte "a feint, sham, fabrication, pretense," abstract noun from Old French feint "false, deceitful; sham, artificial; weak, faint, lazy, indolent" (13c.), originally fem. past participle of feindre "pretend, shirk," from Latin fingere "to touch, handle; devise; fabricate, alter, change" (from PIE root *dheigh- "to form, build").

Borrowed c. 1300 as adjective ("deceitful," also "enfeebled; lacking in courage;" see feint (v.)), but long obsolete in that sense except as a trade spelling of faint among stationers and paper-makers. Also as a noun in Middle English with senses "false-heartedness" (early 14c.), "bodily weakness" (c. 1400).
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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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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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*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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juke (v.)
"to duck, dodge, feint," by 1971, variant of jook (q.v.). From 1933 as "dance," especially at a juke-joint or to jukebox music; see jukebox. Related: Juked; juking.
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faint (adj.)
c. 1300, "enfeebled; wearied, exhausted," from Old French faint, feint "false, deceitful; sham, artificial; weak, faint, lazy, indolent, cowardly," past participle of feindre "hesitate, falter, be indolent, show weakness, avoid one's duty by pretending," from Latin fingere "to touch, handle; devise; fabricate, alter, change" (from PIE root *dheigh- "to form, build"). Also from c. 1300 as "deceitful; unreliable; false." Meaning "wanting in spirit or courage, cowardly" (a sense now mostly encountered in faint-hearted) is from early 14c. From early 15c. of actions, functions, colors, etc., "weak, feeble, poor." Meaning "producing a feeble impression upon the senses" is from 1650s.
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