Dictionary.net

Definitions of fail

  1. 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"
  2. fail to get a passing grade; " She studied hard but failed nevertheless"; " Did I fail the test?"
  3. 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"
  4. be unable; " I fail to understand your motives"
  5. prove insufficient; " The water supply for the town failed after a long drought"
  6. get worse; " Her health is declining"
  7. 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"
  8. judge unacceptable; " The teacher failed six students"
  9. be unsuccessful; " Where do today's public schools fail?"; " The attempt to rescue the hostages failed miserably"
  10. 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"
  11. 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"
  12. 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.
  13. To fall away; to become diminished; to decline; to decay; to sink.
  14. To deteriorate in respect to vigor, activity, resources, etc.; to become weaker; as, a sick man fails.
  15. To come short of a result or object aimed at or desired ; to be baffled or frusrated.
  16. To err in judgment; to be mistaken.
  17. 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.
  18. To be wanting to ; to be insufficient for; to disappoint; to desert.
  19. To miss of attaining; to lose.
  20. Death; decease.
  21. To be affected with want; to come short; to lack; to be deficient or unprovided; - used with of.
  22. To perish; to die; - used of a person.
  23. Miscarriage; failure; deficiency; fault; - mostly superseded by failure or failing, except in the phrase without fail.
  24. To fall short; be deficient; waste away; decline; turn out badly; become bankrupt.
  25. To be wanting, or insufficient for; forsake.
  26. Failure; omission.
  27. To fall short or be wanting; to fall away; to decay; to die; to miss; to be disappointed or baffied; to be unable to pay one's debts.
  28. To be wanting to; disappoint.
  29. To fall short; give out; not succeed; decay; become insolvent.
  30. Omission; failure.
  31. To desert; to disappoint; to cease or neglect to afford aid, supply, or strength; to be wanting to; not to perform.
  32. To become deficient; to cease to be abundant; to be wanting in; to decay; to sink; to become weaker; to be entirely wanting; to cease; to perish; to die; not to produce the effect; to miscarry; to be neglectful; to become insolvent or bankrupt.
  33. To neglect to aid or supply; to disappoint; to fall short; to become deficient; to decay or decline; to be entirely wanting; to become weaker; to become bankrupt.
  34. Omission; non- performance.
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Usage examples for fail

  1. We should fail to bring it to every man's door, and it must be brought to every man's door to be perfect. – Address by Honorable William C. Redfield, Secretary of Commerce at Conference of Regional Chairmen of the Highway Transport Committee Council of National Defence Highway Transport Commitee, Council of National Defence, Bulletin 4 by US Government
  2. Often half a dozen will fail on the same day, and as many new ones will start the next. – Comrade Yetta by Albert Edwards
  3. If I can help you in any way don't fail to call on me. – Left End Edwards by Ralph Henry Barbour
  4. You've got to make good, not because you'll be dropped on if you don't, but because you'll pull the regiment down if you fail. – Men, Women and Guns by H. C. (Herman Cyril) McNeile
  5. Do not fail us. – The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 24 (of 25) by Robert Louis Stevenson Other: Andrew Lang
  6. You are no more likely to fail the next time, because your dinner to- day wasn't a good one. – Half a Dozen Girls by Anna Chapin Ray
  7. I will return here in half an hour if I fail to find him. – Dross by Henry Seton Merriman
  8. Does he never fail in anything, that you are so sure of him? – Ungava by R.M. Ballantyne
  9. Of course he would fail. – Lady Anna by Anthony Trollope
  10. Think you, Madame, that I could remain long in Paris and fail to pay you my devoirs? – Francezka by Molly Elliot Seawell
  11. It was impossible his will- power over her should fail. – Dreamers of the Ghetto by I. Zangwill
  12. You know what will happen to you if you fail! – Johnstone of the Border by Harold Bindloss
  13. " But you did not fail. – Red Pottage by Mary Cholmondeley
  14. Don't fail me again. – The Executioner by Frank Riley
  15. " I can't possibly fail Kathleen," she said to herself. – The Rebel of the School by Mrs. L. T. Meade
  16. We'll do the best we can, and if we fail it will be our own fault. – The Dorrance Domain by Carolyn Wells
  17. The wonder is that a man and wife ever fail of knowing each what the other is thinking. – Questionable Shapes by William Dean Howells
  18. If we fail it is your turn next. – My Memories of Eighty Years by Chauncey M. Depew
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