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noun \ˈfȯlt, in poetry also ˈfȯt\

Simple Definition of fault

  • : a bad quality or part of someone's character : a weakness in character

  • : a problem or bad part that prevents something from being perfect : a flaw or defect

  • : responsibility for a problem, mistake, bad situation, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of fault

  1. 1 obsolete :  lack

  2. 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. 3 a :  misdemeanor b :  mistake

  4. 4 :  responsibility for wrongdoing or failure <the accident was the driver's fault>

  5. 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

at fault

  1. 1 :  unable to find the scent and continue chase

  2. 2 :  open to blame :  responsible <you were really at fault>

to a fault

  1. :  to an excessive degree <precise to a fault>

Examples of fault in a sentence

  1. Lack of courage is his worst fault.

  2. If the book has a fault, it's that it's too long.

  3. It's your own fault you missed that bus.

  4. Through no fault of his own, he won't be able to attend the meeting.

  5. She committed too many faults to win the match.

Illustration of fault

Origin and Etymology of fault

Middle English faute, falte, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *fallita, from feminine of fallitus, past participle of Latin fallere to deceive, disappoint

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of fault

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>.




Simple Definition of fault

  • : to criticize (something)

  • : to blame or criticize (someone)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of fault

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to commit a fault :  err

  3. 2 :  to fracture so as to produce a geologic fault

  4. transitive verb
  5. 1 :  to find a fault in <easy to praise this book and to fault it — H. G. Roepke>

  6. 2 :  to produce a geologic fault in

  7. 3 :  blame, censure <can't fault them for not coming>

Examples of fault in a sentence

  1. The truck driver was faulted for the accident.

  2. Many have faulted her for not acting sooner.

  3. I can't fault him for trying to protect his family.

15th Century

First Known Use of fault

15th century

FAULT Defined for Kids


noun \ˈfȯlt\

Definition of fault for Students

  1. 1 :  a weakness in character :  failing <Forgetfulness is my worst fault.>

  2. 2 :  responsibility for something wrong <Why should he take the blame when it wasn't his fault?>

  3. 3 :  flaw, imperfection <She bought the jacket even though it had a fault.>

  4. 4 :  a crack in the earth's crust along which movement occurs

at fault

  1. :  responsible for something wrong

Law Dictionary



Legal Definition of fault

  1. 1 :  a usually intentional act forbidden by law; also :  a usually intentional omission to do something (as to exercise due care) required by law — see also negligence — compare no-fault, strict liability at liability Editor's note: Sometimes when fault is used in legal contexts it includes negligence, sometimes it is considered synonymous with negligence, and sometimes it is distinguished from negligence. Fault and negligence are the usual bases for liability in the law of torts.

  2. 2 :  responsibility for an act or omission that causes damage or injury to another <relative degrees of fault> — see also comparative fault

at fault

  1. :  liable or responsible based on fault <was not at fault>

Origin and Etymology of fault

Anglo-French faute lack, failing, ultimately from Latin fallere to deceive, disappoint

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