fallibility

noun
fal·​li·​bil·​i·​ty | \ˌfa-lə-ˈbi-lə-tē \

Definition of fallibility 

: liability to err

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Did You Know?

You'll find this word showing up in discussions of eyewitness testimony at crime scenes, of lie detectors, and of critical airplane parts. Some of us are most familiar with the fallibility of memory, especially when we remember something clearly that turns out never to have happened. Being fallible is part of being human, and sometimes the biggest errors are made by those who are thought of as the most brilliant of all.

Examples of fallibility in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The boots' fallibility became so widely known that even the Simpson's lampooned their ineffectiveness. Steve Rousseau, Popular Mechanics, "Can the Parking Boot Be Beat?," 6 June 2013 The path toward forgiveness runs right through the heart of his fallibility. Amy Dickinson, Anchorage Daily News, "Ask Amy: Brother uses elder mom’s funds for his own purposes," 13 June 2018 The path toward forgiveness runs right through the heart of his fallibility. Amy Dickinson, Anchorage Daily News, "Ask Amy: Brother uses elder mom’s funds for his own purposes," 13 June 2018 Jon Krakauer brilliantly gave us his poignant and introspective personal experience in Into Thin Air, a severe cautionary spotlight on the fallibility of commercializing altitude chasing madness. The Editors, Outside Online, "The Best Adventure Books, According to Bookworms," 31 May 2018 The path toward forgiveness runs right through the heart of his fallibility. Amy Dickinson, Anchorage Daily News, "Ask Amy: Brother uses elder mom’s funds for his own purposes," 13 June 2018 The fallibility of corporate superstars is worth bearing in mind as today’s tech stocks cruise towards valuations that were almost unimaginable only two years ago. The Economist, "History’s biggest firms," 5 July 2018 The Germans’ fallibility was brought into sharp focus by what followed along the course of its dismal elimination. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Mexico's World Cup run was fun – but it was a failure," 2 July 2018 The real test, assuming that all organizations are full of fallible people, especially in positions of authority and power, is the way those people in power deal with their inherent fallibility. Matt Murray, WSJ, "The 10-Point.," 18 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fallibility.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fallibility

1608, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for fallibility

The first known use of fallibility was in 1608

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More from Merriam-Webster on fallibility

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fallibility

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