Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

failing

play
noun fail·ing \ˈfā-liŋ\

Simple Definition of failing

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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of failing

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

Examples of failing in a sentence

  1. He has some minor failings.

  2. <we could talk about your failings, but it would take all night>



1590

First Known Use of failing

1590

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>.

2

failing

preposition fail·ing

Simple Definition of failing

  • : in the absence of (something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of failing

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

Examples of failing in a sentence

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



1810

First Known Use of failing

1810



FAILING Defined for Kids

failing

play
noun fail·ing \ˈfā-ling\

Definition of failing for Students

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





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up failing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to take off or remove

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

frenetic melancholy lazy philistine
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ