1. fail to do something; leave something undone;
- Example: "She failed to notice that her child was no longer in his crib"
- Example: "The secretary failed to call the customer and the company lost the account"
[syn: fail, neglect]
2. be unsuccessful;
- Example: "Where do today's public schools fail?"
- Example: "The attempt to rescue the hostages failed miserably"
[syn: fail, go wrong, miscarry]
3. disappoint, prove undependable to; abandon, forsake;
- Example: "His sense of smell failed him this time"
- Example: "His strength finally failed him"
- Example: "His children failed him in the crisis"
[syn: fail, betray]
4. stop operating or functioning;
- Example: "The engine finally went"
- Example: "The car died on the road"
- Example: "The bus we travelled in broke down on the way to town"
- Example: "The coffee maker broke"
- Example: "The engine failed on the way to town"
- Example: "her eyesight went after the accident"
[syn: fail, go bad, give way, die, give out, conk out, go, break, break down]
5. be unable;
- Example: "I fail to understand your motives"
6. judge unacceptable;
- Example: "The teacher failed six students"
7. fail to get a passing grade;
- Example: "She studied hard but failed nevertheless"
- Example: "Did I fail the test?"
[syn: fail, flunk, bomb, flush it]
8. fall short in what is expected;
- Example: "She failed in her obligations as a good daughter-in-law"
- Example: "We must not fail his obligation to the victims of the Holocaust"
9. become bankrupt or insolvent; fail financially and close;
- Example: "The toy company went bankrupt after the competition hired cheap Mexican labor"
- Example: "A number of banks failed that year"
10. prove insufficient;
- Example: "The water supply for the town failed after a long drought"
[syn: fail, run out, give out]
11. get worse;
- Example: "Her health is declining"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Fail \Fail\, v. t. 1. To be wanting to; to be insufficient for; to disappoint; to desert. [1913 Webster] There shall not fail thee a man on the throne. --1 Kings ii. 4. [1913 Webster] 2. To miss of attaining; to lose. [R.] [1913 Webster] Though that seat of earthly bliss be failed. --Milton. [1913 Webster]The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Fail \Fail\, n. [OF. faille, from failir. See Fail, v. i.] 1. Miscarriage; failure; deficiency; fault; -- mostly superseded by failure or failing, except in the phrase without fail. "His highness' fail of issue." --Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Death; decease. [Obs.] --Shak. [1913 Webster]The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Fail \Fail\ (f[=a]l) v. i. [imp. & p. p. Failed (f[=a]ld); p. pr. & vb. n. Failing.] [F. failir, fr. L. fallere, falsum, to deceive, akin to E. fall. See Fail, and cf. Fallacy, False, Fault.] 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. [1913 Webster] As the waters fail from the sea. --Job xiv. 11. [1913 Webster] Till Lionel's issue fails, his should not reign. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To be affected with want; to come short; to lack; to be deficient or unprovided; -- used with of. [1913 Webster] If ever they fail of beauty, this failure is not be attributed to their size. --Berke. [1913 Webster] 3. To fall away; to become diminished; to decline; to decay; to sink. [1913 Webster] When earnestly they seek Such proof, conclude they then begin to fail. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 4. To deteriorate in respect to vigor, activity, resources, etc.; to become weaker; as, a sick man fails. [1913 Webster] 5. To perish; to die; -- used of a person. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Had the king in his last sickness failed. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] Take heed now that ye fail not to do this. --Ezra iv. 22. [1913 Webster] Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 7. To come short of a result or object aimed at or desired; to be baffled or frusrated. [1913 Webster] Our envious foe hath failed. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 8. To err in judgment; to be mistaken. [1913 Webster] Which ofttimes may succeed, so as perhaps Shall grieve him, if I fail not. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster]Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
218 Moby Thesaurus words for "fail": abandon, abort, age, bankrupt, be a gas, be a hit, be caught napping, be found wanting, be inferior, be insufficient, be neglectful, be negligent, be ruined, be unfaithful, be unsuccessful, become insolvent, bill, bomb, break, break faith, bust, cave in, cheat the undertaker, close down, close up, collapse, come apart, come short, come to grief, come unstuck, conk out, crash, crumble, decay, decline, decrease, default, deplete, desert, deteriorate, die, diminish, disappear, disappoint, disintegrate, disregard, dodder, drain, dramatize, droop, drop, dwindle, ebb, exhaust, fade, fail of, fail of success, faint, fall, fall away, fall flat, fall off, fall short, fall shy, fall through, falter, feature, fizzle out, flag, flop, flunk, flunk out, fold, fold up, follow, forsake, founder, get along, get on, give out, give way, gloss over, go back on, go bankrupt, go broke, go down, go downhill, go into receivership, go off, go out, go soft, go to pieces, go to pot, go to ruin, go under, go up, go wrong, grow old, gutter, have nothing on, headline, hit a slump, hit rock bottom, hit the skids, ignore, impoverish, jade, kick the beam, labor in vain, lack, lag, languish, lapse, leave undone, lessen, let down, let go, let ride, let slide, let slip, lose, lose ground, lose sight of, lose strength, lose track of, make a hit, melodramatize, miscarry, misfire, miss, mount, neglect, nod, not answer, not approach, not care for, not come near, not come off, not compare, not get involved, not hack it, not heed, not make it, not make out, not measure up, not pass, not qualify, not stretch, not suffice, not think, not work, open, open a show, overlook, pass over, pass the buck, peak, peg out, peter out, pine, play second fiddle, poop out, premiere, present, preview, produce, put on, rank under, reach the depths, run aground, run down, run out, run short, scenarize, serve, set the stage, shake, shift the blame, shift the responsibility, short, shrink, shrivel, shut down, sink, sleep, slide, slight, slip, slump, spin, stage, star, stop short, subserve, subside, succeed, take for granted, theatricalize, totter, touch bottom, try out, turn gray, turn white, wane, want, wash out, waste, waste away, weaken, wear away, wear thin, wilt, wither, wither away, wizen, worsen, wrinkle, yield