What does failure mean?

Definitions for failure
ˈfeɪl yərfail·ure

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word failure.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. failurenoun

    an act that fails

    "his failure to pass the test"

  2. failurenoun

    an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose

    "the surprise party was a complete failure"

  3. failurenoun

    lack of success

    "he felt that his entire life had been a failure"; "that year there was a crop failure"

  4. failure, loser, nonstarter, unsuccessful personnoun

    a person with a record of failing; someone who loses consistently

  5. failurenoun

    an unexpected omission

    "he resented my failure to return his call"; "the mechanic's failure to check the brakes"

  6. bankruptcy, failurenoun

    inability to discharge all your debts as they come due

    "the company had to declare bankruptcy"; "fraudulent loans led to the failure of many banks"

  7. failurenoun

    loss of ability to function normally

    "kidney failure"


  1. failurenoun

    State or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, opposite of success.

    Etymology: From failer, from faillir.

  2. failurenoun

    An object, person or endeavour in a state of failure or incapable of success.

    Etymology: From failer, from faillir.

  3. failurenoun

    Termination of the ability of an item to perform its required function, breakdown.

    Etymology: From failer, from faillir.


  1. Failure

    Failure is the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success. The criteria for failure depends on context, and may be relative to a particular observer or belief system. One person might consider a failure what another person considers a success, particularly in cases of direct competition or a zero-sum game. Similarly, the degree of success or failure in a situation may be differently viewed by distinct observers or participants, such that a situation that one considers to be a failure, another might consider to be a success, a qualified success or a neutral situation. It may also be difficult or impossible to ascertain whether a situation meets criteria for failure or success due to ambiguous or ill-defined definition of those criteria. Finding useful and effective criteria, or heuristics, to judge the success or failure of a situation may itself be a significant task.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Failurenoun

    cessation of supply, or total defect; a failing; deficiency; as, failure of rain; failure of crops

    Etymology: [From Fail.]

  2. Failurenoun

    omission; nonperformance; as, the failure to keep a promise

    Etymology: [From Fail.]

  3. Failurenoun

    want of success; the state of having failed

    Etymology: [From Fail.]

  4. Failurenoun

    decay, or defect from decay; deterioration; as, the failure of memory or of sight

    Etymology: [From Fail.]

  5. Failurenoun

    a becoming insolvent; bankruptcy; suspension of payment; as, failure in business

    Etymology: [From Fail.]

  6. Failurenoun

    a failing; a slight fault

    Etymology: [From Fail.]


  1. Failure

    Failure is the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success. Product failure ranges from failure to sell the product to fracture of the product, in the worst cases leading to personal injury, the province of forensic engineering.

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. failure

    1. The man who can tell others what to do and how to do it, but never does it himself. 2. A man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in the experience.

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    The quickest method known for making money.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. failure

    An unsuccessful attempt; as, the failure of an expedition.

Suggested Resources

  1. failure

    Song lyrics by failure -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by failure on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'failure' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1291

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'failure' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3201

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'failure' in Nouns Frequency: #536

How to pronounce failure?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say failure in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of failure in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of failure in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of failure in a Sentence

  1. Ehsan Sehgal:

    Live not to oppress and suppress humanity; generally, it causes failure of living; conversely, live to serve humanity since such service reaches and approaches the majority of hearts and minds. Indeed, socially, it flowers the purpose of life and beautifies the character.

  2. George Burns:

    I'd rather be a failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate.

  3. United Airlines:

    United Flight 328 experienced an engine failure and safely returned to Denver International. We are in contact with the The FAA, The NTSB and local law enforcement, the NTSB is investigating and has directed that any persons with debris from this event contact their local law enforcement agency.

  4. Dominique Reynie:

    For Le Pen, missing out on such a unique display of unity was a failure, no matter how it came about.

  5. The NRA statement:

    The law-abiding members of the NRA had nothing at all to do with the failure ofthat school’s security preparedness, the failure ofAmerica’s mental health system, the failure oftheNational Instant Check Systemor the cruelfailures of both federal and local law enforcement.

Images & Illustrations of failure

  1. failurefailurefailurefailurefailure

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Translations for failure

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    a male servant (especially a footman)
    • A. sundog
    • B. couvade
    • C. flunkey
    • D. subrogation

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