failing

noun
fail·ing | \ˈfā-liŋ \

Definition of failing 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

failing

preposition

Definition of failing (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for failing

Synonyms: Noun

demerit, dereliction, fault, foible, frailty, shortcoming, sin, vice, want, weakness

Antonyms: Noun

merit, virtue

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for failing

Noun

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

Examples of failing in a Sentence

Noun

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

Preposition

Failing progress in the peace process, war seems likely.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

America’s failings are treated as singular, not its promise. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "A New Gateway to the West," 2 July 2018 As the leader of the House veterans panel, Miller was a sharp critic of the VA under the Obama administration and oversaw a number of tense hearings that focused on the agency's failings. Sarah Westwood, CNN, "White House poised for more chaos over Veterans Affairs pick," 1 May 2018 During the two games, his every failing was serenaded by the Yankee Stadium crowd, even bad swings in the middle of at-bats. Craig Davis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Giancarlo Stanton's struggles nothing new, but magnified in New York," 19 Apr. 2018 That’s Netflix’s other major failing here: the infusion of horror. Jason Kehe, WIRED, "Sci-Fi Invades Netflix—as They Both Invade Your Home," 9 July 2018 Extensive failings The report looked at 108 lead-poisoning cases reported to the city's troubled Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program from 2012 to 2017. Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Protecting Milwaukee's children: What we know about the latest problems with the city's lead poisoning prevention efforts," 31 May 2018 The report detailed widespread failings on the part of the church hierarchy, and led to this week’s three-day meeting of the bishops at the Vatican. Elisabetta Povoledo, BostonGlobe.com, "Chile’s bishops resign en masse over sex abuse coverup," 18 May 2018 These legal actions reflect the growing awareness that addiction is a disease of the brain and not a moral failing of the soul, so it should be treated like diabetes or any other chronic illness. Brian Barnett, STAT, "Jails and prisons: the unmanned front in the battle against the opioid epidemic," 2 July 2018 Rather, candor is his currency, an accounting of his failings that secures his place in this universe. Sean O'neal, GQ, "The Tortured Mind Of Dan Harmon," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'failing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of failing

Noun

1590, in the meaning defined above

Preposition

1810, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about failing

Dictionary Entries near failing

faik

fail

failance

failing

failing grade/mark

failing that

faille

Phrases Related to failing

failing grade/mark

failing that

Statistics for failing

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for failing

The first known use of failing was in 1590

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for failing

failing

noun

English Language Learners Definition of failing

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

failing

preposition

English Language Learners Definition of failing (Entry 2 of 2)

: in the absence of (something)

failing

noun
fail·ing | \ˈfā-ling \

Kids Definition of failing

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on failing

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

one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!