I. noun 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 2. 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 3. a. misdemeanor b. mistake 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.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • fault — n [Anglo French faute lack, failing, ultimately from Latin fallere to deceive, disappoint] 1: a usu. intentional act forbidden by law; also: a usu. intentional omission to do something (as to exercise due care) required by law see also negligence …   Law dictionary

  • Fault — Fault, n. [OE. faut, faute, F. faute (cf. It., Sp., & Pg. falta), fr. a verb meaning to want, fail, freq., fr. L. fallere to deceive. See {Fail}, and cf. {Default}.] 1. Defect; want; lack; default. [1913 Webster] One, it pleases me, for fault of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fault — [fɔːlt ǁ fɒːlt] noun [countable] 1. MANUFACTURING something that is wrong with a machine, system etc that prevents it from working correctly: fault in • Soviet engineers identified 32 design faults in the reactor, any of which could have led to… …   Financial and business terms

  • fault — [fôlt] n. [ME faute < OFr faulte, a lack < VL * fallita < * fallitus, for L falsus: see FALSE] 1. Obs. failure to have or do what is required; lack 2. something that mars the appearance, character, structure, etc.; defect or failing 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • Fault — may refer to:*Fault (geology), planar rock fractures which show evidence of relative movement *Fault (technology), an abnormal condition or defect at the component, equipment, or sub system level which may lead to a failure *An asymmetric fault… …   Wikipedia

  • fault — FÁULT, faulturi, s.n. (La unele jocuri sportive) Act nesportiv (lovire intenţionată, trântire, împingere etc.) comis de un jucător asupra adversarului şi sancţionat de arbitru. [pr.: fa ult] – Din engl. fault. Trimis de RACAI, 21.11.2003. Sursa:… …   Dicționar Român

  • fault — n 1 imperfection, deficiency, shortcoming Analogous words: flaw, defect, *blemish: weakness, infirmity (see corresponding adjectives at WEAK) Antonyms: excellence 2 Fault, failing, frailty, foible, vice are comparable when they mean an… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • fault — ► NOUN 1) an unattractive or unsatisfactory feature; a defect or mistake. 2) responsibility for an accident or misfortune. 3) (in tennis) a service that infringes the rules. 4) Geology an extended break in a rock formation, marked by the relative …   English terms dictionary

  • Fault — Fault, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Faulted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Faulting}.] 1. To charge with a fault; to accuse; to find fault with; to blame. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] For that I will not fault thee. Old Song. [1913 Webster] 2. (Geol.) To interrupt the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fault — verb. To fault, meaning ‘to blame, find fault with’, has been criticized as an awkward verbalization by some modern usage guides, especially in America, though not by Fowler (1926), nor by Gowers (1965) who declared supportively that it was… …   Modern English usage

  • Fault — Fault, v. i. To err; to blunder, to commit a fault; to do wrong. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] If after Samuel s death the people had asked of God a king, they had not faulted. Latimer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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