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 classic literature ?
At that, though I was faint and horribly fatigued, I gathered together all my strength, and began running again towards the light.
Above me, in the intense blue of the summer sky, some faint brown shreds of cloud whirled into nothingness.
It was so faint that I doubt if any eyes, except those which, like ours, had for days seen nothing but blackness, could have perceived it at all.
In five minutes there was no longer any doubt; it /was/ a patch of faint light.
On the morning of the fourth day his nostrils were suddenly surprised by a faint new scent.
The voice is low, with a certain faint sweetness or tone which falls soothingly on my ear.
At last as I banged pretty heavily against the bulkheads he warned me in his faint breathless wheeze to be more careful.
With a faint gesture of the hand, he indicated the figure on the bed.
I followed her, afraid that she was going to faint.
Bring me something to eat, at least, for I am faint with hunger.
Instead, either from pain or weakness, he fell to the floor in a dead faint.
1) Hume, who gives the names "impressions" and "ideas" to what may, for present purposes, be identified with our "sensations" and "images," speaks of impressions as "those perceptions which enter with most force and violence" while he defines ideas as "the faint images of these (i.
Thus in sleep, in a fever, in madness, or in any very violent emotions of soul, our ideas may approach to our impressions; as, on the other hand, it sometimes happens, that our impressions are so faint and low that we cannot distinguish them from our ideas.
The door, as well as I could see it in the dim light, was a great piece of wood all studded with nails; and I lifted my hand with a faint heart under my jacket, and knocked once.
By dint of patient investigation, we have been enabled to trace some characters bearing a faint resemblance to the names of the speakers; and we can only discern an entry of a song (supposed to have been sung by Mr.