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Meaning & Definition of Fail in English





1. Fail to do something

  • Leave something undone
  • "She failed to notice that her child was no longer in his crib"
  • "The secretary failed to call the customer and the company lost the account"
  • fail,
  • neglect

2. Be unsuccessful

  • "Where do today's public schools fail?"
  • "The attempt to rescue the hostages failed miserably"
  • fail,
  • go wrong,
  • miscarry

3. Disappoint, prove undependable to

  • Abandon, forsake
  • "His sense of smell failed him this time"
  • "His strength finally failed him"
  • "His children failed him in the crisis"
  • fail,
  • betray

4. Stop operating or functioning

  • "The engine finally went"
  • "The car died on the road"
  • "The bus we travelled in broke down on the way to town"
  • "The coffee maker broke"
  • "The engine failed on the way to town"
  • "Her eyesight went after the accident"
  • fail,
  • go bad,
  • give way,
  • die,
  • give out,
  • conk out,
  • go,
  • break,
  • break down

5. Be unable

  • "I fail to understand your motives"
  • fail

6. Judge unacceptable

  • "The teacher failed six students"
  • fail

7. Fail to get a passing grade

  • "She studied hard but failed nevertheless"
  • "Did i fail the test?"
  • fail,
  • flunk,
  • bomb,
  • flush it

8. Fall short in what is expected

  • "She failed in her obligations as a good daughter-in-law"
  • "We must not fail his obligation to the victims of the holocaust"
  • fail

9. Become bankrupt or insolvent

  • Fail financially and close
  • "The toy company went bankrupt after the competition hired cheap mexican labor"
  • "A number of banks failed that year"
  • fail

10. Prove insufficient

  • "The water supply for the town failed after a long drought"
  • fail,
  • run out,
  • give out

11. Get worse

  • "Her health is declining"
  • fail

Examples of using

I won't fail this time.
That plan's bound to fail.
People are not remembered by the number of times they fail but for the number of times they succeed.