We're all familiar with the verb to faint (to temporarily lose consciousness) and the adjective faint (lacking in brightness), but what is a feint? The word originated as a fencing term for a movement made in order to deceive an adversary. A feint is a false attack made to distract the opponent from an even more fatal blow. The word comes from the Old French feindre meaning "to feign" or "deceive." Whether you're standing still or writing up a storm, you've definitely encountered our next confusing pair.