fault

noun
\ ˈfȯlt How to pronounce fault (audio) , 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

The only person at fault for an assault is the one committing the crime. Natasha Lavender, SELF, "What to Do if Your Friend Is Passed Out Drunk," 26 Feb. 2019 Several tweeters also claimed that the real person at fault here is Kardashian's boyfriend, Tristan Thompson, who has been caught in more than one cheating scandal. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Khloé Kardashian Calls BS on Jordyn Woods' Red Table Talk Interview and Twitter Claps Back," 1 Mar. 2019 This overly cautious behavior creates frequent problems for drivers in regular cars, in some cases causing accidents—even if the human driver is legally at fault. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "The hype around driverless cars came crashing down in 2018," 30 Dec. 2018 An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board found that, while operator fatigue was the immediate cause, the system’s signals were also at fault. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, "Can Andy Byford Save the Subways?," 2 July 2018 However, their defence was at fault during the match, and Cisse was clearly unhappy with both goals his side conceded. SI.com, "Senegal Manager Aliou Cisse Expresses 'Regrets' as Teranga Lions Let Lead Slip Against Japan," 25 June 2018 The Covington story uniquely played to Twitter’s faults. David Bauder, The Seattle Times, "Some journalists wonder if their profession is tweet-crazy," 29 Jan. 2019 The researchers looked at further fault conditions but found that many of them don't create a Meltdown-like vulnerability. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Spectre, Meltdown researchers unveil 7 more speculative execution attacks," 14 Nov. 2018 In April, Trump claimed the gang’s prevalence was the Obama administration’s fault, even though the gang was founded decades before President Barack Obama’s election. Politifact, Teen Vogue, "Trump's Lies and Misleading Claims Have Grown in Volume Since the Start of the Presidency," 22 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The boys can’t really be faulted for not being able to decipher the words of the song—because the movement, and its anthem, is meant to be pan-tribal, to inspire unity among Native nations, most renditions of the song do not translate it into words. Rebecca Bengal, Vogue, "The Power of Nathan Phillips’s Song," 21 Jan. 2019 It’s hard to fault either LimeBike or Jump on convenience or price, but their systems don’t always work. David Pierce, WSJ, "Uber for Bikes Is a Commuter Dream… When It Works," 13 Mar. 2018 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

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

6 Apr 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 How to pronounce fault (audio) \

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

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