Etymology
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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."

updated on May 01, 2017

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Definitions of faineant from WordNet

faineant (adj.)
disinclined to work or exertion;
faineant kings under whose rule the country languished
Synonyms: indolent / lazy / otiose / slothful / work-shy
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.