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1

fail

play
verb \ˈfāl\

Simple Definition of fail

  • : to not succeed : to end without success

  • : to not succeed as a business : to become bankrupt

  • : to not do (something that you should do or are expected to do)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of fail

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to lose strength :  weaken <her health was failing> b :  to fade or die away <until our family line fails> c :  to stop functioning normally <the patient's heart failed>

  3. 2 a :  to fall short <failed in his duty> b :  to be or become absent or inadequate <the water supply failed> c :  to be unsuccessful <the marriage failed>; specifically :  to be unsuccessful in achieving a passing grade <took the exam and failed> d :  to become bankrupt or insolvent

  4. transitive verb
  5. 1 a :  to disappoint the expectations or trust of <her friends failed her> b :  to miss performing an expected service or function for <his wit failed him>

  6. 2 :  to be deficient in :  lack <never failed an invincible courage — Douglas MacArthur>

  7. 3 :  to leave undone :  neglect <fail to lock the door>

  8. 4 a :  to be unsuccessful in passing <failed chemistry> b :  to grade (as a student) as not passing

failingly play \ˈfā-liŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of fail in a sentence

  1. He failed in his first attempt but succeeded in his second attempt.

  2. His first company failed, but his second company succeeded.

  3. He felt that he had failed her when she needed him most.

  4. The government has failed the voters.



Origin of fail

Middle English failen, from Anglo-French faillir, from Vulgar Latin *fallire, alteration of Latin fallere to deceive, disappoint


First Known Use: 13th century


2

fail

noun

Definition of fail

  1. 1 :  failure —usually used in the phrase without fail

  2. 2 :  a failure (as by a security dealer) to deliver or receive securities within a prescribed period after purchase or sale



13th Century

First Known Use of fail

13th century



FAIL Defined for Kids

1

fail

play
verb \ˈfāl\

Definition of fail for Students

failedfailing

  1. 1 :  to be unsuccessful <He failed the test.>

  2. 2 :  to grade as not passing <My teacher failed me.>

  3. 3 :  to stop functioning <The engine failed.>

  4. 4 :  to be or become absent or not enough <The water supply failed.>

  5. 5 :  to become bankrupt <The business failed.>

  6. 6 :  1neglect 2 <Don't fail to ask if you need my help.>

  7. 7 :  disappoint, desert <I need your help. Please don't fail me.>

  8. 8 :  to lose strength :  weaken <She's failing in health.>

  9. 9 :  to fall short <One drink failed to satisfy my thirst.>

  10. 10 :  to die away <The family line failed.>




2

fail

play
noun

Definition of fail for Students

  1. :  failure 2 <We met daily without fail.>




Medical Dictionary

fail

play
intransitive verb \ˈfā(ə)l\

Medical Definition of fail

  1. 1:  to weaken or lose strength <her health was failing>

  2. 2:  to stop functioning normally <the patient's heart failed>




Law Dictionary

fail

intransitive verb

Legal Definition of fail

  1. 1 :  to be or become inadequate or unsuccessful esp. in fulfilling certain formal requirements <even if one or more terms are left open, a contract for sale does not fail for indefiniteness — Uniform Commercial Code>

  2. 2 :  to become bankrupt or insolvent

  3. transitive verb
  4. :  to leave undone or neglect to do <fail to appear in court> <fail to read a contract>





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