Definition of Fail

Pronunciation: fāl
v. i.1.To be wanting; to fall short; to be or become deficient in any measure or degree up to total absence; to cease to be furnished in the usual or expected manner, or to be altogether cut off from supply; to be lacking; as, streams fail; crops fail.
[imp. & p. p. Failed (fāld); p. pr. & vb. n. Failing.]
As the waters fail from the sea.
- Job xiv. 11.
Till Lionel's issue fails, his should not reign.
- Shak.
2.To be affected with want; to come short; to lack; to be deficient or unprovided; - used with of.
If ever they fail of beauty, this failure is not be attributed to their size.
- Berke.
3.To fall away; to become diminished; to decline; to decay; to sink.
When earnestly they seek
Such proof, conclude they then begin to fail.
- Milton.
4.To deteriorate in respect to vigor, activity, resources, etc.; to become weaker; as, a sick man fails.
5.To perish; to die; - used of a person.
Had the king in his last sickness failed.
- Shak.
6.To be found wanting with respect to an action or a duty to be performed, a result to be secured, etc.; to miss; not to fulfill expectation.
Take heed now that ye fail not to do this.
- Ezra iv. 22.
Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale.
- Shak.
7.To come short of a result or object aimed at or desired ; to be baffled or frusrated.
Our envious foe hath failed.
- Milton.
8.To err in judgment; to be mistaken.
Which ofttimes may succeed, so as perhaps
Shall grieve him, if I fail not.
- Milton.
9.To become unable to meet one's engagements; especially, to be unable to pay one's debts or discharge one's business obligation; to become bankrupt or insolvent; as, many credit unions failed in the late 1980's.
v. t.1.To be wanting to ; to be insufficient for; to disappoint; to desert.
There shall not fail thee a man on the throne.
- 1 Kings ii. 4.
2.To miss of attaining; to lose.
Though that seat of earthly bliss be failed.
- Milton.
n.1.Miscarriage; failure; deficiency; fault; - mostly superseded by failure or failing, except in the phrase without fail.
2.Death; decease.

Related Words

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