Definitions for FAILfeɪl

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word FAIL

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved:

    The experiment failed.

  2. to receive less than the passing grade or mark in an examination, class, or course of study.

  3. to be or become deficient or lacking; fall short.

  4. to lose strength or vigor; become weak.

  5. to stop functioning or operating.

  6. to dwindle, pass, or die away.

  7. to become unable to meet or pay debts or business obligations; become insolvent or bankrupt.

  8. (of a building member, structure, machine part, etc.) to break, bend, or be otherwise destroyed or made useless because of an excessive load.

    Category: Machinery

  9. (v.t.)to be unsuccessful in the performance or completion of:

    He failed to do his duty.

  10. to prove of no use or help to:

    His friends failed him.

  11. to receive less than a passing grade or mark in.

  12. to declare (a person) unsuccessful in a test or course of study; give less than a passing grade to.

  13. (n.)a stockbroker's inability to deliver or receive security within the required time after sale or purchase.

    Category: Stock Exchange, Business

  14. Obs. failure as to performance, occurrence, etc.

Idioms for fail:

  1. without fail,with certainty; positively.

    Category: Idiom

Origin of fail:

1175–1225; ME < AF, OF faillir < L fallere to deceive, disappoint

Princeton's WordNet

  1. fail, neglect(verb)

    fail to do something; leave something undone

    "She failed to notice that her child was no longer in his crib"; "The secretary failed to call the customer and the company lost the account"

  2. fail, go wrong, miscarry(verb)

    be unsuccessful

    "Where do today's public schools fail?"; "The attempt to rescue the hostages failed miserably"

  3. fail, betray(verb)

    disappoint, prove undependable to; abandon, forsake

    "His sense of smell failed him this time"; "His strength finally failed him"; "His children failed him in the crisis"

  4. fail, go bad, give way, die, give out, conk out, go, break, break down(verb)

    stop operating or functioning

    "The engine finally went"; "The car died on the road"; "The bus we travelled in broke down on the way to town"; "The coffee maker broke"; "The engine failed on the way to town"; "her eyesight went after the accident"

  5. fail(verb)

    be unable

    "I fail to understand your motives"

  6. fail(verb)

    judge unacceptable

    "The teacher failed six students"

  7. fail, flunk, bomb, flush it(verb)

    fail to get a passing grade

    "She studied hard but failed nevertheless"; "Did I fail the test?"

  8. fail(verb)

    fall short in what is expected

    "She failed in her obligations as a good daughter-in-law"; "We must not fail his obligation to the victims of the Holocaust"

  9. fail(verb)

    become bankrupt or insolvent; fail financially and close

    "The toy company went bankrupt after the competition hired cheap Mexican labor"; "A number of banks failed that year"

  10. fail, run out, give out(verb)

    prove insufficient

    "The water supply for the town failed after a long drought"

  11. fail(verb)

    get worse

    "Her health is declining"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. fail(verb)ɪl

    ≠ succeed

    The rocket launch failed.; The climbers failed to reach the top of the mountain.

  2. failɪl

    to not do sth you are supposed to

    She failed to come to the hearing.

  3. failɪl

    ≠ pass

    I failed that exam/class.; "How was the test?" "I failed."

  4. failɪl

    (of teacher) to give a student a grade that is below passing

    The professor failed half the class.

  5. failɪl

    to stop working or progressing well

    The brakes failed.; Her health was failing.

  6. failɪl

    (of business) to be unable to continue operating

    new laws to stop banks from failing

  7. fail(noun)ɪl

    a grade that is below passing

    ***He got a 53, which is a fail.

  8. failɪl


    He was there every morning without fail.


  1. fail(Noun)

    a failure, especially of a financial transaction

  2. fail(Noun)

    a failing grade in an academic examination

  3. fail(Verb)

    To be unsuccessful.

    Throughout my life, I have always failed.

  4. fail(Verb)

    Not to achieve a particular stated goal. (Usage note: The direct object of this word is usually an infinitive.)

    The truck failed to start.

  5. fail(Verb)

    To neglect.

    The report fails to take into account all the mitigating factors.

  6. fail(Verb)

    To cease to operate correctly.

    After running five minutes, the engine failed.

  7. fail(Verb)

    To be wanting to, to be insufficient for, to disappoint, to desert.

  8. fail(Verb)

    To receive one or more non-passing grades in academic pursuits.

    I failed in English last year.

  9. fail(Verb)

    To give a student a non-passing grade in an academic endeavour.

    The professor failed me because I did not complete any of the course assignments.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Fail(verb)

    to be wanting; to fall short; to be or become deficient in any measure or degree up to total absence; to cease to be furnished in the usual or expected manner, or to be altogether cut off from supply; to be lacking; as, streams fail; crops fail

  2. Fail(verb)

    to be affected with want; to come short; to lack; to be deficient or unprovided; -- used with of

  3. Fail(verb)

    to fall away; to become diminished; to decline; to decay; to sink

  4. Fail(verb)

    to deteriorate in respect to vigor, activity, resources, etc.; to become weaker; as, a sick man fails

  5. Fail(verb)

    to perish; to die; -- used of a person

  6. Fail(verb)

    to be found wanting with respect to an action or a duty to be performed, a result to be secured, etc.; to miss; not to fulfill expectation

  7. Fail(verb)

    to come short of a result or object aimed at or desired ; to be baffled or frusrated

  8. Fail(verb)

    to err in judgment; to be mistaken

  9. Fail(verb)

    to become unable to meet one's engagements; especially, to be unable to pay one's debts or discharge one's business obligation; to become bankrupt or insolvent

  10. Fail(verb)

    to be wanting to ; to be insufficient for; to disappoint; to desert

  11. Fail(verb)

    to miss of attaining; to lose

  12. Fail(verb)

    miscarriage; failure; deficiency; fault; -- mostly superseded by failure or failing, except in the phrase without fail

  13. Fail(verb)

    death; decease

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'FAIL' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3075

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'FAIL' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4125

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'FAIL' in Verbs Frequency: #139

Anagrams of FAIL

  1. alif, fila

  2. Alif

  3. Fila

Translations for FAIL

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to be unsuccessful (in); not to manage (to do something)

They failed in their attempt; I failed my exam; I failed to post the letter.

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