1

failing

noun fail·ing \ ˈfā-liŋ \
Updated on: 12 Dec 2017

Definition of failing

: 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

Recent Examples of failing from the Web

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.

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

Definition of failing

: 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.

First Known Use of failing

1810



FAILING Defined for English Language Learners

failing

noun

Definition of failing for English Language Learners

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


failing

preposition

Definition of failing for English Language Learners

  • : in the absence of (something)


FAILING Defined for Kids

failing

noun fail·ing \ ˈfā-ling \

Definition of failing for Students

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


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