• WordNet 3.6
    • adj faineant disinclined to work or exertion "faineant kings under whose rule the country languished","an indolent hanger-on","too lazy to wash the dishes","shiftless idle youth","slothful employees","the unemployed are not necessarily work-shy"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n faineant A do-nothing; an idle fellow; a sluggard.
    • a faineant Doing nothing; shiftless; disinclined to work or exertion.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • faineant Literally, do-nothing; specifically, an epithet applied to the later Merovingian kings of France, who were puppets in the hands of the mayors of the palace.
    • n faineant A do-nothing; a lazy, shiftless fellow.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj., n Faineant fā-nyang′ do-nothing, applied esp. to the later Merovingian kings of France, mere puppets, under whom the mayors of the Palace really governed the country
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F.; fait, he does + néant, nothing
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr., faire, to do, néant, nothing.


In literature:

Then was written, in rough bold characters, the words, "Le Noir Faineant".
"Ivanhoe A Romance" by Walter Scott
And thus the Duke's ministry came to be called the Faineants.
"The Prime Minister" by Anthony Trollope
I believe that such an education as our Sam got from the Doctor would have made a slattern and a faineant out of half the boys in England.
"The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn" by Henry Kingsley
They were the Mayors of that Palace; he only le roi faineant.
"Lucretia, Complete" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Something for that poor faineant Gillies.
"The Journal of Sir Walter Scott" by Walter Scott
The last of the Carlovingians, Louis V (le-Faineant), died also at Compiegne in 987.
"Royal Palaces and Parks of France" by Milburg Francisco Mansfield
Then Aunt Ju took her seat, and was able for the next hour and a half to occupy her arm-chair with gratifying faineant dignity.
"Is He Popenjoy?" by Anthony Trollope