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"
fail, go wrong, miscarry(verb)
"Where do today's public schools fail?"; "The attempt to rescue the hostages failed miserably"
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"
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"
"I fail to understand your motives"
"The teacher failed six students"
fail, flunk, bomb, flush it(verb)
fail to get a passing grade
"She studied hard but failed nevertheless"; "Did I fail the test?"
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"
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"
fail, run out, give out(verb)
"The water supply for the town failed after a long drought"
"Her health is declining"
a failure, especially of a financial transaction
a failing grade in an academic examination
To be unsuccessful.
Throughout my life, I have always failed.
Not to achieve a particular stated goal. (Usage note: The direct object of this word is usually an infinitive.)
The truck failed to start.
The report fails to take into account all the mitigating factors.
To cease to operate correctly.
After running five minutes, the engine failed.
To be wanting to, to be insufficient for, to disappoint, to desert.
To receive one or more non-passing grades in academic pursuits.
I failed in English last year.
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.
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
to be affected with want; to come short; to lack; to be deficient or unprovided; -- used with of
to fall away; to become diminished; to decline; to decay; to sink
to deteriorate in respect to vigor, activity, resources, etc.; to become weaker; as, a sick man fails
to perish; to die; -- used of a person
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
to come short of a result or object aimed at or desired ; to be baffled or frusrated
to err in judgment; to be mistaken
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
to be wanting to ; to be insufficient for; to disappoint; to desert
to miss of attaining; to lose
miscarriage; failure; deficiency; fault; -- mostly superseded by failure or failing, except in the phrase without fail
Origin: [OF. faille, from failir. See Fail, v. i.]
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
fāl, n. a turf, sod.—n. Fail′-dike (Scot.), a turf-wall. [Perh. from Gael. fàl, a sod.]
fāl, v.i. to fall short or be wanting (with in): to fall away: to decay: to die: to prove deficient under trial, examination, pressure, &c.: to miss: to be disappointed or baffled: to be unable to pay one's debts.—v.t. to be wanting to: not to be sufficient for: to leave undone, omit: to disappoint or desert any one:—pr.p. fail′ing; pa.p. failed.—n. (Shak.) failure.—p.adj. Failed, decayed, worn out: bankrupt.—n. Fail′ing, a fault, weakness: a foible.—prep. in default of.—n. Fail′ure, a falling short, or cessation: omission: decay: bankruptcy.—Fail of, to come short of accomplishing any purpose; Without fail, infallibly. [O. Fr. faillir—L. fallĕre, to deceive; cf. Dut. feilen, Ger. fehlen, Ice. feila.]
What does FAIL stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the FAIL acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.
British National Corpus
Spoken Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'fail' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3075
Written Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'fail' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4125
Rank popularity for the word 'fail' in Verbs Frequency: #139
The numerical value of fail in Chaldean Numerology is: 4
The numerical value of fail in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
Fail, fail again, fail better.
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
If you fail too big, you don’t get to fail anymore. If you never fail, then you haven’t done anything.
If we fail here, we fail humanity, as a grandfather, I have no intention of failing my, or anyone else's, grandchildren.
The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change; until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.
Images & Illustrations of fail
Translations for fail
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- не успявам, не работя, провалям се, отказвам, не сполучвамBulgarian
- fracassarCatalan, Valencian
- propadnout, fungovat, selhávat, selhat, nechat, přestatCzech
- svigte, forsømme, mislykkes, dumpe, fejle, undlade, slå fejlDanish
- missglücken, ohne Erfolg bleiben, scheitern, nicht gelingen, keinen Erfolg haben, versagenGerman
- fracasar, zozobrar, negar, pararse, fallarSpanish
- nurjuma, seiskuma, edutuEstonian
- تصورکردن, شکست خوردن, موفق نشدن, خراب شدنPersian
- rikkoa, pysähtyä, vikautua, ei, epäonnistua, vikaantua, pysäyttää, vioittaa, mennä rikkiFinnish
- tomber en panne, faillir, recaler, négliger, échouerFrench
- fàilligScottish Gaelic
- ignorare, omettere, mancare l'obiettivo, fallire, tralasciare, bocciare, negligere, mancareItalian
- жол болбоо, иш ордунан чыкпай калууKyrgyz
- paheke, takaMāori
- falen, mankeren, negeren, mislukken, buizenDutch
- mislykkes, feile, svikteNorwegian
- reprovar, pifar, deixar de, falhar, fracassarPortuguese
- a rata, a strica, a se stricaRomanian
- выходить из строя, терпеть неудачу, провалиться, провалить, не справитьсяRussian
- mankera, misslyckas, falleraSwedish
Get even more translations for fail »
Find a translation for the fail definition in other languages:
Select another language: