Last modified on 1 October 2014, at 21:06
See also: fàil, fáil, and Fäil

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English failen, from Anglo-Norman faillir, from Vulgar Latin *fallire, alteration of Latin fallere (to deceive, disappoint), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰāl- (to lie, deceive). Compare Dutch feilen, falen (to fail, miss), German fehlen (to fail, miss, lack), Danish feile (to fail, err), Swedish fela (to fail, be wanting, do wrong), Icelandic feila (to fail).

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

fail (third-person singular simple present fails, present participle failing, simple past and past participle failed)

  1. (intransitive) To be unsuccessful.
    • 2013 August 10, “A new prescription”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8848: 
      As the world’s drug habit shows, governments are failing in their quest to monitor every London window-box and Andean hillside for banned plants. But even that Sisyphean task looks easy next to the fight against synthetic drugs. No sooner has a drug been blacklisted than chemists adjust their recipe and start churning out a subtly different one.
    Throughout my life, I have always failed.
  2. (transitive) Not to achieve a particular stated goal. (Usage note: The direct object of this word is usually an infinitive.)
    The truck failed to start.
  3. (transitive) To neglect.
    The report fails to take into account all the mitigating factors.
  4. (intransitive, of a machine, etc.) To cease to operate correctly.
    After running five minutes, the engine failed.
  5. (transitive) To be wanting to, to be insufficient for, to disappoint, to desert.
    • Bible, 1 Kings ii. 4
      There shall not fail thee a man on the throne.
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 3, ch. II, Gospel of Mammonism
      A poor Irish Widow […] went forth with her three children, bare of all resource, to solicit help from the Charitable Establishments of that City. At this Charitable Establishment and then at that she was refused; referred from one to the other, helped by none; — till she had exhausted them all; till her strength and heart failed her: she sank down in typhus-fever […]
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 2, The Mirror and the Lamp[1]:
      That the young Mr. Churchills liked—but they did not like him coming round of an evening and drinking weak whisky-and-water while he held forth on railway debentures and corporation loans. Mr. Barrett, however, by fawning and flattery, seemed to be able to make not only Mrs. Churchill but everyone else do what he desired. And if the arts of humbleness failed him, he overcame you by sheer impudence.
  6. (intransitive) To receive one or more non-passing grades in academic pursuits.
    I failed in English last year.
  7. (transitive) To give a student a non-passing grade in an academic endeavour.
    The professor failed me because I did not complete any of the course assignments.
  8. (transitive, obsolete) To miss attaining; to lose.
    • Milton
      though that seat of earthly bliss be failed
  9. To be wanting; to fall short; to be or become deficient in any measure or degree up to total absence.
    The crops failed last year.
    • Bible, Job xiv. 11
      as the waters fail from the sea
    • Shakespeare
      Till Lionel's issue fails, his should not reign.
  10. (archaic) To be affected with want; to come short; to lack; to be deficient or unprovided; used with of.
    • Berke
      If ever they fail of beauty, this failure is not be attributed to their size.
  11. (archaic) To fall away; to become diminished; to decline; to decay; to sink.
    • Milton
      When earnestly they seek / Such proof, conclude they then begin to fail.
  12. (archaic) To deteriorate in respect to vigour, activity, resources, etc.; to become weaker.
    A sick man fails.
  13. (obsolete) To perish; to die; used of a person.
    • Shakespeare
      had the king in his last sickness failed
  14. (obsolete) To err in judgment; to be mistaken.
    • Milton
      Which ofttimes may succeed, so as perhaps / Shall grieve him, if I fail not.
  15. 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.

Usage notesEdit

SynonymsEdit

AntonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

NounEdit

fail (countable and uncountable, plural fails)

  1. (uncountable) (slang) Poor quality; substandard workmanship.
    The project was full of fail.
  2. (slang) A failure (condition of being unsuccessful)
  3. (slang, US) A failure (something incapable of success)
  4. A failure, especially of a financial transaction (a termination of an action).
  5. A failing grade in an academic examination.

AdjectiveEdit

fail (comparative more fail, superlative most fail)

  1. (slang, US) That is a failure.

ReferencesEdit

AnagramsEdit


IrishEdit

PronunciationEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old Irish foil, from Proto-Celtic *vali-, from Proto-Indo-European *wel-. Cognates include Ancient Greek ἕλιξ (héliks, something twisted).

NounEdit

fail f (genitive faile, nominative plural faileanna)

  1. ring
  2. bracelet
  3. wreath
  4. sty

DeclensionEdit

MutationEdit

Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
fail fhail bhfail
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

MalayEdit

EtymologyEdit

From English file.

NounEdit

fail (plural fail-fail)

  1. file (collection of papers)
  2. information or a document about someone, something etc.
  3. (computing) file (aggregation of data on a storage device)

Derived termsEdit

VerbEdit

fail (used in the form memfailkan)

  1. file (commit papers)
  2. file (to archive)
  3. (computing) file (store computer data)
  4. (with untuk) file (make a formal request)

Old IrishEdit

VerbEdit

fail

  1. Alternative form of fil.