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:

  • Failing — Fail ing, n. 1. A failing short; a becoming deficient; failure; deficiency; imperfection; weakness; lapse; fault; infirmity; as, a mental failing. [1913 Webster] And ever in her mind she cast about For that unnoticed failing in herself. Tennyson …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • failing — [adj] not well, weak declining, defeated, deficient, faint, feeble, inadequate, insufficient, scant, scanty, scarce, short, shy, unavailing, unprosperous, unsuccessful, unsufficient, unthriving, vain, wanting; concepts 485,489 Ant. healthy, ok,… …   New thesaurus

  • failing — [fāl′iŋ] n. 1. a failure 2. a slight fault or defect; weakness prep. without; lacking [failing a good voter turnout, our candidate will lose] SYN. FAULT …   English World dictionary

  • failing — I noun asthenia, atony, blemish, cachexia, collapse, debilitation, decadence, decay, decline, decrepitude, defeat, deficiency, delinquency, disadvantage, failure, fallibility, fault, fiasco, flaw, foible, frailty, imperfection, inadequacy,… …   Law dictionary

  • failing — defect, fault, 1580s, verbal noun from FAIL (Cf. fail) …   Etymology dictionary

  • failing — n frailty, foible, *fault, vice Analogous words: *blemish, flaw, defect: weakness, infirmity (see corresponding adjectives at WEAK) Antonyms: perfection (in concrete sense) Contrasted words: *excellence, merit, virtue …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • failing — ► NOUN ▪ a weakness in a person s character. ► PREPOSITION ▪ if not …   English terms dictionary

  • failing — fail|ing1 [ feılıŋ ] noun count a fault or a weak point that makes someone or something less effective: He had his failings, but he was basically a good man. the failings of the criminal justice system failing fail|ing 2 [ feılıŋ ] adjective no… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • failing — I UK [ˈfeɪlɪŋ] / US noun [countable] Word forms failing : singular failing plural failings a fault or a weak point that makes someone or something less effective He had his failings, but he was basically a good man. the failings of the criminal… …   English dictionary

  • failing — failingly, adv. failingness, n. /fay ling/, n. 1. an act or instance of failing; failure: His failing is due to general incompetence. 2. a defect or fault; shortcoming; weakness: His lack of knowledge is a grave failing. prep. 3. in the absence… …   Universalium

  • failing — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ great, major, serious (esp. BrE), worst ▪ Vanity is her worst failing. ▪ common, human ▪ …   Collocations dictionary

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