Etymology: Middle English faute, falte, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *fallita, from feminine of fallitus, past participle of Latin fallere to deceive, disappoint
Date: 13th century
1. obsolete lack
a. weakness, failing; especially a moral weakness less serious than a vice
b. a physical or intellectual imperfection or impairment ; defect
c. an error especially in service in a net or racket game
4. responsibility for wrongdoing or failure <the accident was the driver's fault> 5. a fracture in the crust of a planet (as the earth) or moon accompanied by a displacement of one side of the fracture with respect to the other usually in a direction parallel to the fracture Synonyms: fault, failing, frailty, foible, vice mean an imperfection or weakness of character. fault implies a failure, not necessarily culpable, to reach some standard of perfection in disposition, action, or habit <a writer of many virtues and few faults>. failing suggests a minor shortcoming in character <being late is a failing of mine>. frailty implies a general or chronic proneness to yield to temptation <human frailties>. foible applies to a harmless or endearing weakness or idiosyncrasy <an eccentric's charming foibles>. vice can be a general term for any imperfection or weakness, but it often suggests violation of a moral code or the giving of offense to the moral sensibilities of others <compulsive gambling was his vice>. II. verb Date: 15th century intransitive verb 1. to commit a fault ; err 2. to fracture so as to produce a geologic fault transitive verb 1. to find a fault in <easy to praise this book and to fault it — H. G. Roepke> 2. to produce a geologic fault in 3. blame, censure <can't fault them for not coming>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.