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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Fain \Fain\, a. [OE. fain, fagen, AS. f[ae]gen; akin to OS. fagan, Icel. faginn glad; AS. f[ae]gnian to rejoice, OS. fagan[=o]n, Icel. fagna, Goth. fagin[=o]n, cf. Goth. fah[=e]ds joy; and fr. the same root as E. fair. Srr Fair, a., and cf. Fawn to court favor.]

  1. Well-pleased; glad; apt; wont; fond; inclined.

    Men and birds are fain of climbing high.

    To a busy man, temptation is fainto climb up together with his business.
    --Jer. Taylor.

  2. Satisfied; contented; also, constrained.

    The learned Castalio was fain to make trechers at Basle to keep himself from starving.


Fain \Fain\, adv. With joy; gladly; -- with wold.

He would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat.
--Luke xv. 16.

Fain Would I woo her, yet I dare not.


Fain \Fain\, v. t. & i. To be glad; to wish or desire. [Obs.]

Whoso fair thing does fain to see.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English fægen, fagen "glad, cheerful, happy, joyful, rejoicing," from a common Germanic root (cognates: Old Saxon fagan, Old Norse feginn "glad," Old High German faginon, Gothic faginon "to rejoice"), perhaps from PIE *pek- (1) "to make pretty." Often "glad" in a relative sense, "content to accept when something better is unobtainable." As an adverb, from c.1200. Related: Fainly.

  1. (label en archaic) Well-pleased; glad; apt; wont; fond; inclined. adv. (context archaic English) With joy; gladly. v

  2. 1 (context archaic English) To be delighted or glad; to rejoice 2 (context archaic English) To gladden


adv. in a willing manner; "this was gladly agreed to"; "I would fain do it" [syn: gladly, lief]


adj. having made preparations; "prepared to take risks" [syn: disposed(p), inclined(p), prepared]


Fain may refer to:

  • Fain (surname)
  • Fain Skinner (born 1985), American racing driver
  • Fain Lake, a lake in Arizona, United States
  • Fain, a character in the Wheel of Time series, see List of Wheel of Time characters
Fain (surname)

Fain is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

  • Agathon Jean François Fain (1778–1837), French historian
  • Ben Fain, American bridge player
  • Benjamin Fain (1930–2013), Israeli physicist
  • Ferris Fain (1921–2001), American baseball player
  • Harry Fain (1918–2007), American lawyer
  • Holley Fain (born 1981), American actress
  • Joe Fain, American politician
  • Melanie Fain (born 1958), American printmaker
  • Rhea Fain, NASCAR team owner
  • Richard Fain (born 1968), American football player
  • Richard D. Fain, American businessman
  • Sammy Fain (1902–1989), American composer
  • Tim Fain, American violinist

Usage examples of "fain".

But if, as I would fain hope, and do partly believe, such ideas of national power as these are now out of vogue with British statesmen, then I think that such an amalgamation should receive all the support which Downing Street can give it.

I would fain tickle his long ears with ribald rhyme, and hearken to the barbarous braying forth of his asinine reflections!

In his delight he would fain have embraced Gudrun, who, however, haughtily bade him refrain from saluting a mere washerwoman.

I was fain to escape from this hell on earth, where I was imprisoned by a most detestable tyranny, and I thought only of forwarding this end, with the resolve to succeed, or at all events not to stop before I came to a difficulty which was insurmountable.

But although that Thrasillus was joyfull of the death of Lepolemus, whom he did greatly hate, yet he cloked the matter with a sorrowfull countenance, he fained a dolorous face, he often imbraced the body which himselfe slew, he played all the parts of a mourning person, saving there fell no teares from his eyes.

I was not long uncertain, for the instinctive movements she made when she felt the minister that would fain accomplish the sacrifice at the door of the sanctuary, convinced me that her dream still lasted, and that I could not make her happier than by changing it into reality.

I would fain have laughed too and devoured Armelline with my kisses, but I could only devour her with by eyes.

Thus they went for an hour, and the elder spake not again, though it might have been deemed by his eyes that he was eager and fain.

Sooth to say, Ralph, taking heed of Ursula, deemed that she were fain to love him bodily, and he wotted well by now, that, whatever had befallen, he loved her, body and soul.

Careless would fain have gone on to Stratford-on-Avon, but his royal master would not permit him, deeming it safer to proceed in this quiet manner than with an attendance liable to attract attention, and that might cause them to be stopped.

I am sure Bolingbroke would fainer have tied it round an arrow and shot it into my stomach, but such proceedings, though frequently seen in Lords, are still frowned upon in Commons.

I would fainer dwell in a meaner Liberty with fewer delusions than roam about a great one while being used by the lies and deceptions of the Party in power.

Ampris finished carrying her rugs outside, she saw Fain and Gur at work in the courtyard, unloading long, massive spools of cloth from a cargo flat floating on its antigrav unit and fitting the spool bolts onto robot carters that lumbered back and forth between the courtyard and the warehouse.

I replied by ardent kisses which reassured her, while they warned her that I would fain increase the responsibility I had already contracted towards her.

Fain ignored all of ithe had no fear of turning his back on them, not since they had seen the Fade dealt withand went to his prize.