faint

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be not for the faint-hearted

To be unsuitable for those who are easily stressed or frightened. That horror movie is definitely not for the faint-hearted. I don't scare easily, and I screamed the whole time! Working in an operating room is not for the faint-hearted.
See also: not

not have the faintest idea

To have no knowledge or understanding about something. I do not have the faintest idea where I left my car keys. He does not have the faintest idea how hard it is to run a business.
See also: faint, have, idea, not

damn (someone or something) with faint praise

To criticize or undermine someone or something by showing a lack of enthusiasm. I needed you to support me in there! The committee probably won't approve of my research project now that you've damned it with faint praise.
See also: damn, faint, praise

damn someone or something with faint praise

Fig. to criticize someone or something indirectly by not praising enthusiastically. The critic did not say that he disliked the play, but he damned it with faint praise. Mrs. Brown is very proud of her son's achievements, but damns her daughter's with faint praise.
See also: damn, faint, praise

faint dead away

Fig. to faint and fall unconscious. I almost fainted dead away. David will faint dead away when he reads this.
See also: away, dead, faint

faint from something

to faint because of something. I nearly fainted from fear! Three people along the parade route fainted from the heat.
See also: faint

Faint heart never won fair lady.

Prov. A timid suitor never won his lady. (Used to encourage boys or men to be bold in courting women.) Bill: I'd really like to go out with Alice, but what if she says no? Alan: You won't know till you ask her. Faint heart never won fair lady. Don't be so shy about talking to Edith. Faint heart never won fair lady.
See also: faint, fair, heart, lady, never, won

faint of heart

Fig. people who are squeamish; someone who is sickened or disturbed by unpleasantness or challenge. The pathway around the top of the volcano, near the crater, is not for the faint of heart.
See also: faint, heart, of

damn with faint praise

Compliment so feebly that it amounts to no compliment at all, or even implies condemnation. For example, The reviewer damned the singer with faint praise, admiring her dress but not mentioning her voice . This idea was already expressed in Roman times by Favorinus (c. a.d. 110) but the actual expression comes from Alexander Pope's Epistle to Doctor Arbuthnot (1733): "Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, and, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer."
See also: damn, faint, praise

damn someone/something with faint praise

If you damn someone or something with faint praise, you praise them, but in such a weak way that it is obvious that you do not really have a high opinion of them. In recent months he has consistently damned the government with faint praise. Note: People occasionally use by instead of with. He has been damned by faint praise throughout his career even though he has scored all manner of important goals. Note: You can also just talk about faint praise. Mr Robinson called him `the most obvious candidate'. That sounds like faint praise. Note: This expression was first used by the English writer Alexander Pope in his `Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot' (1735): `Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, And, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer.'
See also: damn, faint, praise, something

damn someone or something with faint praise

praise someone or something so unenthusiastically as to imply condemnation.
This expression comes from the poet Alexander Pope's ‘Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot’ ( 1735 ): ‘Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer’.
1994 Canadian Defence Quarterly True there is the occasional condescending nod to those who served, but this frequently amounts to damning with faint praise.
See also: damn, faint, praise, something

a faint heart

timidity or lack of willpower preventing you from achieving your objective.
Faint heart never won fair lady is a proverb which dates in this wording from the early 17th century; the idea, however, was around at least two centuries earlier.
See also: faint, heart

not have the faintest (idea)

have no idea. informal
See also: faint, have, not

damn somebody/something with faint ˈpraise

praise somebody/something so little that you seem to be criticizing them/it: All he said was that I was ‘capable’. Talk about damning someone with faint praise!

not have the ˈfaintest/ˈfoggiest (idea)

(British English, informal) have no idea at all about something; not know anything at all: I haven’t got the faintest idea what to buy Roger for his birthday.‘Where are we?’ ‘I’m afraid I haven’t the foggiest.’
See also: faint, foggy, have, not
References in periodicals archive ?
According to the survey, even though a majority of Americans (76 percent) have fainted themselves or know someone who has fainted, only 36 percent believe that the issue deserves immediate medical attention.
Her friend and osteopath Jason Gaskill urged her to get it checked out after she fainted in his reception room last October.
A British Airways spokeswoman said: "A handful of passengers on the aircraft fainted during the flight.
Back on May 27, Jessica, who was three months' pregnant at the time, again fainted and this time little Madelyn picked up her mother's BlackBerry and punched in "911 Green"
Some of the NCC cadets who fainted said they had assembled at the stadium at 7 am for the parade.
RED-FACED Clyde 1 DJ Suzie McGuire fainted during her live radio interview with Irish boyband Westlife Suzie collapsed at the mike just as she was playing Flying Without Wings.
A BUS driver sobbed yesterday as he told how he fainted at the wheel of his 52-seater coach - and killed a woman passer-by.
In 1992, the first President Bush vomited and fainted at a state dinner in Japan, and the episode was captured on videotape.
PRESIDENT George W Bush fainted at the White House after choking on a pretzel while watching an American football game on TV.
A 14-YEAR-OLD girl fainted, suffered a head injury and later died after seeing grotesque images in a popular men's magazine, it emerged today.
20) In fact, when she does finally arrive on the scene, the others assume that "she had fainted or something like that" (241).
White House physician Dr Richard Tubb said: "The pretzel didn't seem to go down right and the president fainted after it became lodged in his throat.
Dear Ann Landers: You recently printed a funny letter about chivalry - a woman fainted when a man offered her his seat on the subway.
I actually haven't fainted for quite a few years and touch wood, I'll still be standing at the end of the ceremony.
We all know of a father who has fainted, another who has blocked the doctor's way with his camcorder.