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fall short (third-person singular simple present falls short, present participle falling short, simple past fell short, past participle fallen short)

  1. (idiomatic) to be less satisfactory than expected; to be inadequate or insufficient
    • 1946 July and August, “The Royston Accident, G.N.R., July 3, 1866”, in Railway Magazine, page 216:
      Ample proof that the maintenance of locomotives and track in the mid-Victorian era sometimes fell far short of present-day standards is afforded by an accident which occurred on July 3, 1866, near Royston, on the Cambridge branch of the Great Northern Railway.
    • 2018 July 7, Phil McNulty, “Sweden 0-2 England”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      They have fallen short on so many occasions that an England team who rises to the occasion are worthy of the highest praise.
    • 2005, Plato, translated by Lesley Brown, Sophist, page 245c:
      But if being is not a whole through being affected by that affection, and there is such a thing as the whole itself, it follows that being falls short of itself.

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Usually used with preposition of.

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