Definition of failure
1a : omission of occurrence or performance; specifically : a failing to perform a duty or expected action failure to pay the rent on timeb (1) : a state of inability to perform a normal function kidney failure — compare heart failure (2) : an abrupt cessation of normal functioning a power failurec : a fracturing or giving way under stress structural failure
2a : lack of successb : a failing in business : bankruptcy He was trying to rescue the company from failure.
4 : one that has failed He felt like a failure when he wasn't accepted into law school.
Examples of failure in a Sentence
He became discouraged by his repeated failures in business.
He was often crippled by his fear of failure.
The accident was caused by engine failure.
The patient was suffering from heart failure.
The accident was caused by a failure to use proper procedures.
She was criticized for failure to follow directions.
The drought caused crop failure.
He felt like a failure when he wasn't accepted into law school.
The scheme was a complete failure.
Recent Examples of failure from the Web
Music executives are now aghast over the failure to provide refunds and the maneuvering of investors in the weeks before the festival fell apart.
The disease requires a lifetime of attention to diet and exercise and access to proper medical treatment, without which diabetics are at risk of blindness, limb amputations, heart or kidney failure and stroke.
In March 1979, equipment failure and operator errors led to a partial core meltdown of one of Three Mile Island’s two reactors.
The situation hasn’t been helped by their governments’ failure to disclose what’s wrong with them.
This is to prepare them to face failure, too, and learn from it.
But the policies put in place right now could ultimately set the labor market up for success or failure in the long term.
Alex Mosqueda, 21, of the 1300 block of McCameron Avenue, Lockport, was charged with possession of marijuana, driving without a valid driver's license, driving without insurance and failure to wear a seat belt at 12:39 a.m.
But the Carter years were also defined by the Iranian hostage crisis, which came to symbolize the administration's failures and frustrations.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'failure'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of failure
alteration of earlier failer, from Anglo-French, from Old French faillir to fail
First Known Use: 1643See Words from the same year
FAILURE Defined for Kids
Definition of failure for Students
1 : a lack of success The experiment resulted in failure.
2 : the act of neglecting or forgetting to do or perform I was disappointed by his failure to keep a promise.
3 : an instance of not working properly power failure a failure of memory
4 : a loss of the ability to work normally heart failure
5 : someone or something that has not succeeded The new show was a failure.
6 : an instance of falling short crop failure
7 : bankruptcy
Legal Definition of failure
1 : omission of occurrence or performance; specifically : a failing to perform a duty or expected action a failure to mitigate damages failure to prosecute
2 : a lack of success or adequacy failure of a suit
3 : a failing in business
Seen and Heard
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