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
The law also allows police officers to ask anyone about their immigration status when legally detained, and failure to comply could result in fines upwards of $1,500 for a first offense and then $25,500 for every other infraction.
Once in power, they were suddenly confronted with that failure.
The Russian government says the cause of death was heart failure, but many observers believe Magnitsky was murdered.
Even in the forest, brush can dry and burn, and this is part of a healthy life, not a failure, not a loss to mourn.
Meanwhile, there hasn't been a peep about battery failures for the Galaxy S8 or S8+, despite millions of sales and a whole world looking to create drama with headlines about Samsung's exploding phones.
The family of Nelsan Ellis has revealed what triggered heart failure in the True Blood actor, whose death over the weekend shocked fans and co-stars.
Putin’s thuggery and the failure of the optimistic approach of the last 16 years are plain to see.
Rocky Barker firstname.lastname@example.org The outfitter: A living that depends on thriving salmon Glass, the salmon outfitter who lives in Troutdale, Ore., has a front-row seat to watch the salmon’s success or failure.
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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