failure

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noun fail·ure \ˈfāl-yər\

Definition of failure

  1. 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

  2. 2a :  lack of successb :  a failing in business :  bankruptcy He was trying to rescue the company from failure.

  3. 3a :  a falling short :  deficiency a crop failureb :  deterioration, decay

  4. 4 :  one that has failed He felt like a failure when he wasn't accepted into law school.

Examples of failure in a Sentence

  1. He became discouraged by his repeated failures in business.

  2. He was often crippled by his fear of failure.

  3. The accident was caused by engine failure.

  4. The patient was suffering from heart failure.

  5. The accident was caused by a failure to use proper procedures.

  6. She was criticized for failure to follow directions.

  7. The drought caused crop failure.

  8. He felt like a failure when he wasn't accepted into law school.

  9. The scheme was a complete failure.

Recent Examples of failure from the Web

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


FAILURE Defined for Kids

failure

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noun fail·ure \ˈfāl-yər\

Definition of failure for Students

  1. 1 :  a lack of success The experiment resulted in failure.

  2. 2 :  the act of neglecting or forgetting to do or perform I was disappointed by his failure to keep a promise.

  3. 3 :  an instance of not working properly power failure a failure of memory

  4. 4 :  a loss of the ability to work normally heart failure

  5. 5 :  someone or something that has not succeeded The new show was a failure.

  6. 6 :  an instance of falling short crop failure

  7. 7 :  bankruptcy


Medical Dictionary

failure

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noun fail·ure \ˈfā(ə)l-yər\

Medical Definition of failure

  1. :  a state of inability to perform a vital function acute renal failure respiratory failure—see heart failure


Law Dictionary

failure

noun fail·ure

Legal Definition of failure

  1. 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. 2 :  a lack of success or adequacy failure of a suit

  3. 3 :  a failing in business



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