fail

fail
1 /feIl/ verb
1 TRY BUT FAIL (I) to be unsuccessful in something that you want to do: Peace talks between the two countries have failed. | fail to do sth: Doctors failed to save the girl's life. | fail miserably (=be completely unsuccessful in a way that it is embarrassing): Millions of people have tried to quit smoking and failed miserably.
2 NOT DO WHAT IS EXPECTED (I) to not do what is expected, needed, or wanted : fail to do sth: The letter failed to arrive. | The report cleverly fails to mention the real cost of this experiment. | fail in your duty/responsibility: I would be failing in my duty if I didn't warn you of the consequences of your actions.
3 EXAM/TEST
a) (I, T) to not pass a test or examination: I failed my driving test the first time I took it.
(+ on): I passed the written paper but failed on my oral.
b) (T) to decide that someone has not passed a test or examination
4 I fail to see/understand formal used to show that you are annoyed by something that you do not accept or understand: I fail to see why you find it so amusing.
5 COMPANY/BUSINESS (I) to be unable to continue because of a lack of money: A large number of small businesses failed in the recession.
6 MACHINE/BODY PART (I) if a part of a machine or an organ in your body fails, it stops working: The rocket's engine failed a few seconds after take-off. | My uncle's kidneys failed two days after the operation.
7 never fail to do sth to do something so regularly that people are sure that you will do it: My grandson never fails to phone me on my birthday.
8 your courage/will/nerve fails (you) if your courage etc fails, or fails you, you suddenly do not have it when you need it: At the last moment my nerve failed. I walked away from her door without knocking.
9 fail sb to not do what someone has trusted you to do: I feel I've failed my children by not spending more time with them.
—see also: words fail me word 1 (10)
10 CROPS (I) to not grow or produce food: If the crops fail again this year, people will starve.
11 RAINS (I) to not come at the usual time of year
12 failing sight/health sight or health that is becoming worse
2 noun
1 without fail
a) if you do something without fail, you always do it: Tim visits his mother every day without fail.
b) used to tell someone very firmly that they must do something: I want that work finished by tomorrow, without fail!
2 (C) an unsuccessful result in a test or examination: I got a fail in history.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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  • fail — vi 1: to be or become inadequate or unsuccessful esp. in fulfilling certain formal requirements even though one or more terms are left open a contract for sale does not fail for indefiniteness Uniform Commercial Code 2: to become bankrupt or… …   Law dictionary

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fail — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Fail Freguesia de Portugal …   Wikipedia Español

  • fail — fail·ing·ly; fail; fail·ure; jeo·fail; un·fail·ing; un·fail·ing·ly; un·fail·ing·ness; …   English syllables

  • 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fail — [fāl] vi. [ME failen < OFr faillir, to fail, miss < L fallere, to deceive, disappoint < IE base * ĝhwel , to bend, deviate > Sans hválati, (he) loses the way, errs, Gr phēloein, to deceive] 1. to be lacking or insufficient; fall short …   English World dictionary

  • FAIL (N. du) — FAIL NOËL DU, seigneur de La Hérissaye (1520 1591) Magistrat breton, conseiller au parlement de Bretagne après des études qui lui ont fait faire un traditionnel tour de France des universités: Poitiers, Angers, Bourges et Avignon. Après avoir… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fail — early 13c., from O.Fr. falir (11c., Mod.Fr. faillir) be lacking, miss, not succeed, from V.L. *fallire, from L. fallere to trip, cause to fall; figuratively to deceive, trick, dupe, cheat, elude; fail, be lacking or defective. Related: Failed;… …   Etymology dictionary

  • fail — [v1] be unsuccessful abort, backslide, back wrong horse*, be defeated, be demoted, be found lacking*, be in vain*, be ruined, blunder, break down, come to naught, come to nothing, decline, deteriorate, fall, fall flat*, fall short*, fall through* …   New thesaurus

  • fail — ► VERB 1) be unsuccessful in an undertaking. 2) be unable to meet the standards set by (a test). 3) judge (a candidate in an examination or test) not to have passed. 4) neglect to do. 5) disappoint expectations: chaos has failed to materialize.… …   English terms dictionary

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