faint

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a faint heart

1. A tendency to experience stress, fear, anxiety, sickness, or discomfort from unpleasantness, graphic imagery, physical strain, or risk. We must warn you that the following video contains images that may be unsuitable to those with a faint heart. I wouldn't advise reading the comments section of this article if you have a faint heart. Part of the hike is along a narrow path very close to a sheer cliff, so it's certainly not for anyone with a faint heart!
2. To have a very timid disposition; to lack the ambition or will to achieve success despite adversity. You can't have a faint heart if you want to work in this industry, I'll tell you that right now.
See also: faint, heart

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: for, 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

faint dead away

To lose consciousness; to pass out. I don't know what happened, I just got dizzy all of a sudden and fainted dead away.
See also: away, dead, faint

faint from (something)

To lose consciousness for a particular reason. We had to wait in line at the amusement park for so long that I fainted from the heat.
See also: faint

faint heart never won fair lady

proverb One must be self-assured and brave, as opposed to timid, in order to attract or woo a woman. I know you get nervous talking to your crush, but just remember—faint heart never won fair lady.
See also: faint, fair, heart, lady, never, won

not have the faintest (notion)

To have no knowledge or understanding about something. He doesn't have the faintest notion how hard it is to run a business. A: "Do you know where the car keys are?" B: "I don't have the faintest, sorry."
See also: faint, have, 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

not have the foggiest

To have no knowledge or understanding whatsoever about something. He doesn't have the foggiest how hard it is to run a business. A: "Do you know where the car keys are?" B: "I don't have the foggiest. Sorry."
See also: foggy, have, not

the faint of heart

A person who tends to easily experience stress, fear, anxiety, sickness, or discomfort when facing unpleasantness, graphic imagery, physical strain, or risk. We must warn you that the following video contains images that may be unsuitable for the faint of heart. Part of the hike is along a narrow path very close to a sheer cliff, so it's certainly not for the faint of heart!
See also: faint, heart, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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.'
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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.

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

not have the foggiest (idea or notion)

have no idea at all. informal, chiefly British
See also: foggy, have, not
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

damn with faint praise, to

To compliment so slightly that it amounts to no compliment at all, or even the reverse, a condemnation. The Roman writer Favorinus said, about a.d. 110, that it is more shameful to be praised faintly and coldly than to be censured violently. The practice was taken up early on, especially by literary critics. The classic quotation is from Alexander Pope’s Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot (1733). In poking fun at the critic Joseph Addison, here called Atticus, Pope said he would “Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, and, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer.” See also left-handed compliment.
See also: damn, faint, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
The new find is one of the faintest and coolest brown dwarfs ever discovered close to Earth.
I've played it five times and I've not the faintest idea.
Many of my fellow students in university, who had come through the school system, hadn't the faintest idea of how to write a paragraph.
But while the new law makes the presence of certain allergens in food products more understandable, Taylor also contends that the act is too strict in requiring that allergens be listed if they are present in the faintest traces.
Ex-presidential gravitas and Carter's earnest nature ban the faintest trace of humor from these pages.
Mr Howard had nothing to do with this appointment, and he wouldn't have had the faintest idea at that time who I was.
The entire unit is light-tight, ensuring that the smallest and faintest bands are captured.
No, the real shock of revisiting the film now is to see how quickly a truly radical gesture can disappear back into genre, leaving only the faintest ripples of original importance.
Eyes sparkle with the faintest hint of creamy color (Bonne Bell Eye Fusion in Rain, $4, at drugstores) and clear mascara, kissed with a hint of blu (Bonne Bell Lash Gloss in Tidal Wave, $3.50, at Drugstores).
"Then, while at Camp David with US President George Bush, he said: 'We haven't the faintest idea what has been going on in the last four years ...
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: One second after Junior showed the faintest interest in skating, she was signed up for monitoring duties at the local Skateboard (and related activities) Park.
Nothing is more confusing than to be ordered into a war to die or to be maimed for life without the faintest idea of what's going on.
It always happens on a Friday night when the office computer guru has gone home: you're faced with a file whose suffix, extension, type name, whatever you call them locally, you've never seen before and you haven't the faintest idea what application will open it.
In some ways it resembled a visit to an English cathedral, a magnificent building full of people with only the faintest perception of its purpose and meaning.
The ocean gives the faintest signs of life, and while below the waves might pulse unfathomable sounds, upon the water little shows except a wash of pale light that glows up from the frantic scurrying of krill or the deep set eyes of whales and giant squid.