Fail Fail (f[=a]l) v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Failed} (f[=a]ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Failing}.] [F. failir, fr. L. fallere, falsum, to deceive, akin to E. fall. See {Fail}, and cf. {Fallacy}, {False}, {Fault}.] 1. 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. [1913 Webster]

As the waters fail from the sea. --Job xiv. 11. [1913 Webster]

Till Lionel's issue fails, his should not reign. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. To be affected with want; to come short; to lack; to be deficient or unprovided; -- used with of. [1913 Webster]

If ever they fail of beauty, this failure is not be attributed to their size. --Berke. [1913 Webster]

3. To fall away; to become diminished; to decline; to decay; to sink. [1913 Webster]

When earnestly they seek Such proof, conclude they then begin to fail. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

4. To deteriorate in respect to vigor, activity, resources, etc.; to become weaker; as, a sick man fails. [1913 Webster]

5. To perish; to die; -- used of a person. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Had the king in his last sickness failed. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

6. 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. [1913 Webster]

Take heed now that ye fail not to do this. --Ezra iv. 22. [1913 Webster]

Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

7. To come short of a result or object aimed at or desired; to be baffled or frusrated. [1913 Webster]

Our envious foe hath failed. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

8. To err in judgment; to be mistaken. [1913 Webster]

Which ofttimes may succeed, so as perhaps Shall grieve him, if I fail not. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

9. 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; as, many credit unions failed in the late 1980's. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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