See also: Fail, fáil, fàil, and Fäil

English edit

Alternative forms edit

Pronunciation edit

  • enPR: fāl, IPA(key): /feɪl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪl

Etymology 1 edit

 
A goalkeeper failing to stop the ball from entering the goal

From Middle English failen, borrowed from Anglo-Norman faillir, from Vulgar Latin *fallire, alteration of Latin fallere (to deceive, disappoint), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰāl- (to lie, deceive) or Proto-Indo-European *sgʷʰh₂el- (to stumble).

Compare Dutch feilen, falen (to fail, miss), German fehlen (to fail, miss, lack), Danish fejle (to fail, err), Swedish fela (to fail, be wanting, do wrong), Icelandic feila (to fail), Spanish fallar (to fail, miss).

Verb edit

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

  1. (intransitive) To be unsuccessful.
    Throughout my life, I have always failed.
    • 1577, Raphaell Holinshed, “The Historie of Englande”, in The Firste Volume of the Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande [], volume I, London: [] [Henry Bynneman] for Iohn Harrison, →OCLC, page 249, column 1:
      If they ſhoulde gyue battayle it was to be doubted, leaſt through treaſon amõgſt themſelues, the armie ſhould be betrayed into the enimies hands, the which would not fayle to execute all kinde of crueltie in the ſlaughter of the whole nation.
    • 2013 August 10, “A new prescription”, in 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.
  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.
    • 1960 December, B. Perren, “The role of the Great Central—present and future”, in Trains Illustrated, page 765:
      Those who have advocated the closure of the G.C. have so far failed to say by which alternative route this North-to-West traffic could be carried.
  4. (intransitive) Of a machine, etc.: to cease to operate correctly.
    After running five minutes, the engine failed.
    • 2021 December 29, Dominique Louis, “Causal analysis: crashworthiness at Sandilands”, in RAIL, number 947, page 33:
      We also found that the only emergency egress from the tram was by smashing the front or rear windscreens, and that emergency lighting had failed when the tram overturned.
  5. (transitive) To be wanting to, to be insufficient for, to disappoint, to desert; to disappoint one's expectations.
    I've failed my parents many times growing up.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, 1 Kings 2:4:
      There shall not fail thee a man on the throne.
    • 1843 April, Thomas Carlyle, “ch. II, Gospel of Mammonism”, in Past and Present, American edition, Boston, Mass.: Charles C[offin] Little and James Brown, published 1843, →OCLC, book III (The Modern Worker):
      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[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter II, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      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. (transitive, intransitive) To receive one or more non-passing grades in academic pursuits.
    I failed 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.
  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.
  10. (archaic) To be affected with want; to come short; to lack; to be deficient or unprovided; used with of.
    • 1757, Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful:
      If ever they fail of beauty, this failure is not to be attributed to their size.
  11. (archaic) To fall away; to become diminished; to decline; to decay; to sink.
  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.
  14. (obsolete) To err in judgment; to be mistaken.
  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 notes edit
Conjugation edit
Alternative forms edit
Synonyms edit
Antonyms edit
  • (antonym(s) of to be unsuccessful): succeed
Derived terms edit
Related terms edit
Descendants edit
  • Welsh: ffaelu
Translations edit

Noun edit

fail (countable and uncountable, plural fails)

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

Adjective edit

fail (comparative more fail, superlative most fail)

  1. (slang, US) Unsuccessful; inadequate; unacceptable in some way.

Etymology 2 edit

Unknown. Compare Scottish Gaelic fàl (hedge), Scots faill (turf). Attested from the 16th century.[1]

Alternative forms edit

Noun edit

fail (plural fails)

  1. A piece of turf cut from grassland.
Derived terms edit

References edit

  1. ^ fail, n.1, in Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933.

Anagrams edit

Indonesian edit

Etymology edit

From English file, from Old French fil (thread), from Latin filum (thread). Compare to Malay fail.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): [ˈfaɪl]
  • Hyphenation: fa‧il

Noun edit

fail

  1. file,
    1. a collection of papers collated and archived together.
      Synonyms: berkas, dokumen
    2. (computing) an aggregation of data on a storage device, identified by a name.
  2. file rack
    Synonym: rak berkas

Further reading edit

Irish edit

Etymology edit

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

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

fail f (genitive singular faile, nominative plural faileanna)

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

Declension edit

Mutation edit

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.

Malay edit

Etymology edit

From English file.

Noun edit

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 terms edit

Verb edit

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 Irish edit

Verb edit

fail

  1. Alternative form of fil

Turkish edit

Etymology edit

Inherited from Ottoman Turkish فاعل (fā'il),[1][2] from Arabic فَاعِل (fāʕil), active participle of فَعَلَ (faʕala, to do, to affect).[3]

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /faːˈil/
  • Hyphenation: fa‧il

Noun edit

fail (definite accusative faili, plural failler)

  1. (grammar, archaic) subject
    Synonym: özne
  2. (archaic) agent, doer
  3. (law) actor, perpetrator

Declension edit

Inflection
Nominative fail
Definite accusative faili
Singular Plural
Nominative fail failler
Definite accusative faili failleri
Dative faile faillere
Locative failde faillerde
Ablative failden faillerden
Genitive failin faillerin
Possessive forms
Nominative
Singular Plural
1st singular failim faillerim
2nd singular failin faillerin
3rd singular faili failleri
1st plural failimiz faillerimiz
2nd plural failiniz failleriniz
3rd plural failleri failleri
Definite accusative
Singular Plural
1st singular failimi faillerimi
2nd singular failini faillerini
3rd singular failini faillerini
1st plural failimizi faillerimizi
2nd plural failinizi faillerinizi
3rd plural faillerini faillerini
Dative
Singular Plural
1st singular failime faillerime
2nd singular failine faillerine
3rd singular failine faillerine
1st plural failimize faillerimize
2nd plural failinize faillerinize
3rd plural faillerine faillerine
Locative
Singular Plural
1st singular failimde faillerimde
2nd singular failinde faillerinde
3rd singular failinde faillerinde
1st plural failimizde faillerimizde
2nd plural failinizde faillerinizde
3rd plural faillerinde faillerinde
Ablative
Singular Plural
1st singular failimden faillerimden
2nd singular failinden faillerinden
3rd singular failinden faillerinden
1st plural failimizden faillerimizden
2nd plural failinizden faillerinizden
3rd plural faillerinden faillerinden
Genitive
Singular Plural
1st singular failimin faillerimin
2nd singular failinin faillerinin
3rd singular failinin faillerinin
1st plural failimizin faillerimizin
2nd plural failinizin faillerinizin
3rd plural faillerinin faillerinin

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

References edit

  1. ^ Redhouse, James W. (1890) “فاعل”, in A Turkish and English Lexicon[1], Constantinople: A. H. Boyajian, page 1361
  2. ^ Kélékian, Diran (1911) “فاعل”, in Dictionnaire turc-français[2], Constantinople: Mihran, page 883
  3. ^ Nişanyan, Sevan (2002–) “fail”, in Nişanyan Sözlük

Further reading edit