fault

noun
\ ˈfȯlt , in poetry also ˈfȯt\

Definition of fault

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 obsolete : lack
2a : weakness, failing especially : a moral weakness less serious than a vice He loves her despite her many faults.
b : a physical or intellectual imperfection or impairment : defect a theory with some serious faults
c : an error especially in service in a net or racket game She committed too many faults to win the match.
3a : misdemeanor a small boy's faults
b : mistake The misplacement of "only" is one of the most common writing faults.
4 : responsibility for wrongdoing or failure the accident was the driver's fault
5 : a fracture in the crust of a planet (such as the earth) or moon accompanied by a displacement of one side of the fracture with respect to the other usually in a direction parallel to the fracture Frequent earthquakes have occurred along the San Andreas Fault.
at fault
1 : unable to find the scent and continue chase
2 : open to blame : responsible you were really at fault
to a fault
: to an excessive degree precise to a fault

fault

verb
faulted; faulting; faults

Definition of fault (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to commit a fault : err
2 : to fracture so as to produce a geologic fault

transitive verb

1 : to find a fault in easy to praise this book and to fault it— H. G. Roepke
2 : to produce a geologic fault in
3 : blame, censure can't fault them for not coming

Illustration of fault

Illustration of fault

Noun

fault 5: 1 fault with displaced strata a, b, c, d, e; 2 scarp

In the meaning defined above

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Synonyms & Antonyms for fault

Synonyms: Noun

demerit, dereliction, failing, foible, frailty, shortcoming, sin, vice, want, weakness

Synonyms: Verb

blame, censure, condemn, criticize, denounce, dis (also diss) [slang], dispraise, knock, pan, reprehend, slag [chiefly British]

Antonyms: Noun

merit, virtue

Antonyms: Verb

extol (also extoll), laud, praise

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Choose the Right Synonym for fault

Noun

fault, failing, frailty, foible, vice mean an imperfection or weakness of character. fault implies a failure, not necessarily culpable, to reach some standard of perfection in disposition, action, or habit. a writer of many virtues and few faults failing suggests a minor shortcoming in character. being late is a failing of mine frailty implies a general or chronic proneness to yield to temptation. human frailties foible applies to a harmless or endearing weakness or idiosyncrasy. an eccentric's charming foibles vice can be a general term for any imperfection or weakness, but it often suggests violation of a moral code or the giving of offense to the moral sensibilities of others. compulsive gambling was his vice

Examples of fault in a Sentence

Noun

Lack of courage is his worst fault. If the book has a fault, it's that it's too long. It's your own fault you missed that bus. Through no fault of his own, he won't be able to attend the meeting. She committed too many faults to win the match.

Verb

The truck driver was faulted for the accident. Many have faulted her for not acting sooner. I can't fault him for trying to protect his family.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But Carroll said the fault was not all Wilson’s because the receivers often had trouble getting open. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Was Bobby Wagner’s leap to block the Vikings’ field goal attempt legal? Pete Carroll weighs in," 11 Dec. 2018 The Commission found that talking to the stakeholders was, at times, like watching a circular firing squad — the problem, the issue, and ultimately the fault was always that of someone else. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Former Kentucky Colonel Artis Gilmore: Louisville is ready to handle an NBA team," 28 Apr. 2018 But this orchestra of dysfunction is entirely the fault of the giant ISPs. Karl Bode, The Verge, "California is leading the state-by-state fight for net neutrality," 1 Sep. 2018 There’s companies like that, through no fault of their own. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: NBC journalists Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell and Hallie Jackson on Recode Decode," 5 Dec. 2018 In his 121-page findings, Zilly found that Troy, now defunct, and LeatherCare were equally at fault for the pollution, even if there were few environmental standards governing the industry when PCE was commonly used as a solvent. Steve Miletich, The Seattle Times, "Judge holds Seattle Times, leather-cleaning company responsible for cleanup costs at former Troy Laundry site," 24 Aug. 2018 At stake is a place in Sunday's men's final against the man who was partly at fault for keeping Nadal and Djokovic out there so late. Mattias Karen, chicagotribune.com, "Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal to finish their Wimbledon semifinal Saturday," 13 July 2018 Bray Wyatt was found at fault for the weekend car crash that caused him to miss this week’s Raw, according to a police report obtained by TMZ. Dan Gartland, SI.com, "Bray Wyatt Cited for Careless Driving in Three-Car Crash," 4 July 2018 In a short-lived argument, attorneys for Phoenix wrote in a January filing the driver of the ice cream truck was partially at fault for the girl's death. Jason Pohl, azcentral, "Phoenix settling lawsuit for $10 million after girl hit, dragged by police cruiser," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

No one faults Trump for having to deal with an overly aggressive Pyongyang. Alex Ward, Vox, "How Trump made the North Korea crisis worse," 12 Dec. 2018 Obviously, no one should fault Waymo for keeping drivers behind the wheel of its cars as long as necessary to ensure safety. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Waymo’s ambitious plans for high-speed taxis could be holding it back," 3 Dec. 2018 The lawsuit faults the county for allegedly failing to make a timely request for the helicopter and for allegedly failing to tell other climbers to try a ground rescue. Aimee Green, OregonLive.com, "Family of dead Mt. Hood climber sues for $10 million for delayed helicopter rescue," 14 May 2018 In May, Tesla pushed out an update to improve the performance of the brakes on the Model 3 after Consumer Reports faulted the car for its inconsistent braking performance. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Tesla remotely extends car batteries to help with Hurricane Michael," 10 Oct. 2018 Basically, Kendall is just living her best life in her tiniest bikini, and no-one can fault her for that. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kendall Jenner Just Made the Funniest Joke About Her Sisters While Posing in a Tiny Bikini," 25 Nov. 2018 As far as audio performance goes, the Momentums are difficult to fault. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless review: sonic standout," 30 Nov. 2018 There is much to fault in the Trump presidency, but the totalitarian tendencies appear to flow from our own party. Ted Van Dyk, WSJ, "Democrats Haven’t Turned Back From 1968," 18 Oct. 2018 Trump’s decision speaks to the longstanding feud between the two men, dating back to when Trump, as a candidate, said McCain was not a war hero and seemed to fault him for being captured during the Vietnam War. Judson Berger, Fox News, "Trump decided against White House statement praising McCain," 27 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fault.' 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 fault

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for fault

Noun and Verb

Middle English faute, falte, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *fallita, from feminine of fallitus, past participle of Latin fallere to deceive, disappoint

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Statistics for fault

Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fault

The first known use of fault was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for fault

fault

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fault

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a bad quality or part of someone's character : a weakness in character
: a problem or bad part that prevents something from being perfect : a flaw or defect
: responsibility for a problem, mistake, bad situation, etc.

fault

verb

English Language Learners Definition of fault (Entry 2 of 2)

: to criticize (something)
: to blame or criticize (someone)

fault

noun
\ ˈfȯlt \

Kids Definition of fault

1 : a weakness in character : failing Forgetfulness is my worst fault.
2 : responsibility for something wrong Why should he take the blame when it wasn't his fault?
3 : flaw, imperfection She bought the jacket even though it had a fault.
4 : a crack in the earth's crust along which movement occurs
at fault
: responsible for something wrong

fault

noun

Legal Definition of fault

1 : a usually intentional act forbidden by law also : a usually intentional omission to do something (as to exercise due care) required by law — see also negligence — compare no-fault, strict liability at liability

Note: Sometimes when fault is used in legal contexts it includes negligence, sometimes it is considered synonymous with negligence, and sometimes it is distinguished from negligence. Fault and negligence are the usual bases for liability in the law of torts.

2 : responsibility for an act or omission that causes damage or injury to another relative degrees of fault — see also comparative fault
at fault
: liable or responsible based on fault was not at fault

History and Etymology for fault

Anglo-French faute lack, failing, ultimately from Latin fallere to deceive, disappoint

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More from Merriam-Webster on fault

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fault

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fault

Spanish Central: Translation of fault

Nglish: Translation of fault for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fault for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fault

Comments on fault

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