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
North Korea’s first-ever launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile poses a new threat to the United States, just as one of the Pentagon’s main weapons designed to defeat ICBMs gets back on track after a recent history of failures.
Not unreasonable at all, but remember that for the founding fathers, failure truly was not an option.
The initial cause of the wreck was failure by the Jeep driver to remain right of center, police said.
Failure to comply with this deadline may result in forfeiture of the prize and selection of an alternate winner.
The only way to squash your fear of failure is to practice, practice, practice.
That translates into $900,000 a week for her five-year run as CEO, which is widely seen as a near-total failure.
Both in journalism and policing, quotas allow superiors to blame failure on subordinates and take credit for their success.
AFib is a heart rhythm disorder with deadly and debilitating consequences including heart failure, stroke, reduced quality of life, and death.
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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