noun fail·ing \ˈfā-liŋ\

: a weakness or problem in a person's character, behavior, or ability

Full Definition of FAILING

:  a usually slight or insignificant defect in character, conduct, or ability

Examples of FAILING

  1. He has some minor failings.
  2. <we could talk about your failings, but it would take all night>

First Known Use of FAILING


Synonym Discussion of FAILING

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>.



: in the absence of (something)

Full Definition of FAILING

:  in absence or default of <failing specific instructions, use your own judgment>

Examples of FAILING

  1. Failing progress in the peace process, war seems likely.

First Known Use of FAILING

FAILING Defined for Kids


noun fail·ing \ˈfā-ling\

Definition of FAILING for Kids

:  a weakness or flaw in a person's character, behavior, or ability


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