- To fail is defined as to be unsuccessful at something, to not do something you should, or to tell someone they were unsuccessful at something.
- When you get only 1 question correct out of 100 on the test, this is an example of a time when you fail.
- When you were supposed to take the garbage out and did not, this is an example of a time when you fail to take out the garbage.
- When you are a teacher and you give a student a 20% on a test out of 100, this is an example of a time when you fail the student.
A failed test.
fail definition by Webster's New World
- to be lacking or insufficient; fall short: the water supply is failing
- to lose power or strength; weaken; die away
- to stop operating or working: the brakes failed
- to be deficient or negligent in an obligation, duty, or expectation; default
- to be unsuccessful in obtaining a desired end; be unable to do or become; miss
- to become bankrupt
- Educ. to get a grade of failure; not pass
Origin: Middle English failen ; from Old French faillir, to fail, miss ; from Classical Latin fallere, to deceive, disappoint ; from Indo-European base an unverified form ĝhwel-, to bend, deviate from source Sanskrit hválati, (he) loses the way, errs, Classical Greek phēloein, to deceive
- to be useless or not helpful to; be inadequate for; disappoint
- to leave; abandon: his courage failed him
- to miss, neglect, or omit: used with an infinitive: he failed to go
- to give a grade of failure to (a pupil)
- to get a grade of failure in (a subject)
Origin: ME faile < OFr faile < the v.
fail definition by American Heritage Dictionary
verb failed, fail·ing, fails verb, intransitive
- To prove deficient or lacking; perform ineffectively or inadequately: failed to fulfill their promises; failed in their attempt to reach the summit.
- To be unsuccessful: an experiment that failed.
- To receive an academic grade below the acceptable minimum.
- To prove insufficient in quantity or duration; give out: The water supply failed during the drought.
- To decline, as in strength or effectiveness: The light began to fail.
- To cease functioning properly: The engine failed.
- To give way or be made otherwise useless as a result of excessive strain: The rusted girders failed and caused the bridge to collapse.
- To become bankrupt or insolvent: Their business failed during the last recession.
- To disappoint or prove undependable to: Our sentries failed us.
- To abandon; forsake: His strength failed him.
- To omit to perform (an expected duty, for example): “We must . . . hold . . . those horrors up to the light of justice. Otherwise we would fail our inescapable obligation to the victims of Nazism: to remember” (Anthony Lewis).
- To leave undone; neglect: failed to wash the dishes.
- a. To receive an academic grade below the acceptable minimum in (a course, for example): failed algebra twice.b. To give such a grade of failure to (a student): failed me in algebra.
- Failure to deliver securities to a purchaser within a specified time.
- Failure to receive the proceeds of a transaction, as in the sale of stock or securities, by a specified date.
Origin: Middle English failen, from Old French faillir, from Vulgar Latin *fallīre, variant of Latin fallere, to deceive.
fail - Investment & Finance Definition
fail - Legal Definition
fail - Phrases/Idioms