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

not have the foggiest (notion)

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

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 haven't the faintest, sorry."
See also: faint, have, not

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.'

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

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 ?
With the large light-gathering power of the LBT, astronomers are now able to collect the spectral fingerprints of the faintest and most distant objects in the universe," marvels LBT director Richard Green.
long as there is the faintest trace of white cream on the spoon.
Africa was smelting iron when Europe did not even have the faintest idea of what a furnace is.
At magnitude 14, Pluto is a little fainter than most of the faintest stars plotted here.
No way the Cardinals have even the faintest chance of upsetting the Tigers, and even those unfeeling gambling outfits are echoing such sentiments.
I've played it five times and I've not the faintest idea.
One of the faintest Milky Way satellite ever discovered, it lies about 200,000 light-years from Earth.
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.
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.
Mr Howard had nothing to do with this appointment, and he wouldn't have had the faintest idea at that time who I was.
But I would still urge everyone in the country with even the faintest interest in music to buy this single.
The entire unit is light-tight, ensuring that the smallest and faintest bands are captured.
To all politicians: We the decent people of Norris Green give you backing to stop and search anyone who the police have the faintest suspicion of being up to no good, particularly during the night when these ``rats'' are more active.
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.