What does fault mean?

Definitions for fault

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word fault.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. mistake, error, faultnoun

    a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention

    "he made a bad mistake"; "she was quick to point out my errors"; "I could understand his English in spite of his grammatical faults"

  2. defect, fault, flawnoun

    an imperfection in an object or machine

    "a flaw caused the crystal to shatter"; "if there are any defects you should send it back to the manufacturer"

  3. demerit, faultnoun

    the quality of being inadequate or falling short of perfection

    "they discussed the merits and demerits of her novel"; "he knew his own faults much better than she did"

  4. fault, faulting, geological fault, shift, fracture, breaknoun

    (geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other

    "they built it right over a geological fault"; "he studied the faulting of the earth's crust"

  5. faultnoun

    (electronics) equipment failure attributable to some defect in a circuit (loose connection or insulation failure or short circuit etc.)

    "it took much longer to find the fault than to fix it"

  6. faultnoun

    responsibility for a bad situation or event

    "it was John's fault"

  7. faultverb

    (sports) a serve that is illegal (e.g., that lands outside the prescribed area)

    "he served too many double faults"

  8. blame, faultverb

    put or pin the blame on


  1. faultnoun

    A defect; something that detracts from perfection.

  2. faultnoun

    A mistake or error.

  3. faultnoun

    A weakness of character.

  4. faultnoun

    A minor offense.

  5. faultnoun

    Blame; the responsibility for a mistake.

  6. faultnoun

    A fracture in a rock formation causing a discontinuity

  7. faultnoun

    An illegal serve.

  8. faultnoun

    An abnormal connection in a circuit.

  9. faultverb

    To criticize, blame or find fault with something or someone.

  10. faultverb

    To fracture.

  11. faultverb

    To commit a mistake or error.

  12. faultverb

    To undergo a page fault.

  13. Etymology: From faute, from faulte, from faute, from *, from falsus, perfect passive participle of fallo. Displaced native schuld (from scyld), lac (from lak), last (from lǫstr).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. FAULTnoun

    Etymology: faut, faute, Fr. faltar, to be deficient, Spanish.

    The prophet chuseth rather to charge them with the fault of making a law unto themselves, than the crime of transgressing a law which God had made. Richard Hooker, b. iii. s. 6.

    He finds no fault with their opinion about the true God, but only that it was not clear and distinct enough. Edward Stillingfleet.

    He that but conceives a crime in thought,
    Contracts the danger of an actual fault:
    Then what must he expect that still proceeds
    To commit sin, and work up thoughts to deeds. Dryden.

    If you like not my poem, the fault may possibly be in my writing; but more probably ’tis in your morals, which cannot bear the truth of it. Dryden.

    They wholly mistake the nature of criticism, who think its business is principally to find fault. Dryden.

    To be desirous of a good name, and careful to do every thing, that we innocently may, to obtain it, is so far from being a fault, even in private persons, that it is their great and indispensible duty. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    Before his sacred name flies ev’ry fault,
    And each exalted stanza teems with thought. Alexander Pope.

    Which of our thrum-cap’d ancestors found fault,
    For want of sugar-tongs or spoons for salt? King.

    Being void of all friendship and enmity, they never complain, nor find fault with the times. Jonathan Swift.

    I could tell to thee, as to one it pleases me, for fault of a better, to call my friend, I could be sad, and sad indeed too. William Shakespeare, Henry IV. p. ii.

    There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say unto us, make brick; and behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people. Ex. v. 16.

  2. To Faultverb

    To charge with a fault; to accuse.

    For that I will not fault thee,
    But for humbleness exalt thee. Old Song.

  3. To Faultverb

    To be wrong; to fail.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Which moved him rather in eclogues than otherwise to write, minding to furnish our tongue in this kind wherein it faulteth. Edmund Spenser.


  1. fault

    A fault is a flaw, imperfection, defect, or deficiency. In geology, it refers to a fracture or discontinuity in the Earth's crust where significant displacement has occurred. In the field of technology, a fault may refer to a malfunction or error in a system or device. The term can be used in various contexts to denote a failure or breakdown.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Faultnoun

    defect; want; lack; default

  2. Faultnoun

    anything that fails, that is wanting, or that impairs excellence; a failing; a defect; a blemish

  3. Faultnoun

    a moral failing; a defect or dereliction from duty; a deviation from propriety; an offense less serious than a crime

  4. Faultnoun

    a dislocation of the strata of the vein

  5. Faultnoun

    in coal seams, coal rendered worthless by impurities in the seam; as, slate fault, dirt fault, etc

  6. Faultnoun

    a lost scent; act of losing the scent

  7. Faultnoun

    failure to serve the ball into the proper court

  8. Faultverb

    to charge with a fault; to accuse; to find fault with; to blame

  9. Faultverb

    to interrupt the continuity of (rock strata) by displacement along a plane of fracture; -- chiefly used in the p. p.; as, the coal beds are badly faulted

  10. Faultverb

    to err; to blunder, to commit a fault; to do wrong


  1. Fault

    In document ISO/CD 10303-226, a fault is defined as an abnormal condition or defect at the component, equipment, or sub-system level which may lead to a failure. According to the Federal Standard 1037C of the United States, the term fault has the following meanings: ⁕An accidental condition that causes a functional unit to fail to perform its required function. ⁕A defect that causes a reproducible or catastrophic malfunction. A malfunction is considered reproducible if it occurs consistently under the same circumstances. ⁕In power systems, an unintentional short-circuit, or partial short-circuit, between energized conductors or between an energized conductor and ground. A distinction can be made between symmetric and asymmetric faults. Failures in hardware can be caused by random faults or systematic faults, but failures in software are always systematic.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Fault

    fawlt, n. a failing: error: blemish: imperfection: a slight offence: (geol., min.) a displacement of strata or veins: (tennis) a stroke in which the player fails to serve the ball into the proper place.—adj. Fault′ful (Shak.), full of faults or crimes.—adv. Fault′ily.—n. Fault′iness.—adj. Fault′less, without fault or defect.—adv. Fault′lessly.—n. Fault′lessness.—adj. Fault′y, imperfect, defective: guilty of a fault: blamable.—At fault, open to blame: (of dogs) unable to find the scent; Find fault (with), to censure for some defect. [O. Fr. faute, falte—L. fallĕre, to deceive.]

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz

  1. FAULT

    About the only thing that is often found where it does not exist.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'fault' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3186

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'fault' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1609

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'fault' in Nouns Frequency: #1064

How to pronounce fault?

How to say fault in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of fault in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of fault in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of fault in a Sentence

  1. Devin Nunes:

    This is not Trump's fault or Republicans' fault, it is the left's fault for derailing the whole country and taking our focus off of what we should have been focusing on, which is this China problem.

  2. Devin Nunes:

    I think that one is the one where we were most out on front, we were doing a really good job, but what happened with the Russia hoax, it destroyed us, this is not Trump's fault or Republicans' fault, it is the left's fault for derailing the whole country and taking our focus off of what we should have been focusing on, which is this China problem.

  3. Research Professor Suzanne Carbotte:

    Because the fault zone is so quiet seismically, we really don’t have a good picture of where the part of the fault that generates the big earthquakes is located. At other subduction zones, there are many small earthquakes recorded along the megathrust fault that scientists can use to locate the fault and study its properties, but not at Cascadia.

  4. Sydney Smith:

    Find fault when you must find fault in private, and if possible sometime after the offense, rather than at the time.

  5. Debasish Mridha, M.D.:

    If the future generation has a difficult life, if they engage in war or commit crime, it's not their fault, it's our fault because we fail to educate them. So responsibility resides on me, on us, to educate them in proper ways.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for fault

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"fault." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 10 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/fault>.

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