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"]
early 14c., "loss of freshness or vigor," from fade (adj.), c. 1300, " lacking in brilliance; pale, discolored, dull," from Old French fade (see fade (v.)). As a type of tapering hairstyle from 1988 (fade-out style is in a 1985 "Ebony" article on men's haircuts).