Synonyms & Antonyms of fault

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a defect in character
  • the common fault of being quick to judge others

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3 responsibility for wrongdoing or failure
  • getting the time of the performance wrong was entirely my fault

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4 something that spoils the appearance or completeness of a thing
  • the minor faults in the leather are entirely natural and are what gives it a look different from vinyl

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5 the state of being held as the cause of something that needs to be set right
  • the investigator determined that the auto accident was entirely the other driver's fault

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Synonyms & Antonyms of fault (Entry 2 of 2)

to express one's unfavorable opinion of the worth or quality of
  • you should look at your own work before faulting what others have done

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About fault

How does the noun fault differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of fault are failing, foible, frailty, and vice. While all these words 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

When could failing be used to replace fault?

The words failing and fault can be used in similar contexts, but failing suggests a minor shortcoming in character.

being late is a failing of mine

When might foible be a better fit than fault?

Although the words foible and fault have much in common, foible applies to a harmless or endearing weakness or idiosyncrasy.

an eccentric's charming foibles

In what contexts can frailty take the place of fault?

While the synonyms frailty and fault are close in meaning, frailty implies a general or chronic proneness to yield to temptation.

human frailties

When is it sensible to use vice instead of fault?

The synonyms vice and fault are sometimes interchangeable, but 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

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Time Traveler for fault

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Fault.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on fault

Nglish: Translation of fault for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fault for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fault


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