an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success: His effort ended in failure. The campaign was a failure.
nonperformance of something due, required, or expected: a failure to do what one has promised; a failure to appear.
a subnormal quantity or quality; an insufficiency: the failure of crops.
deterioration or decay, especially of vigor, strength, etc.: The failure of her health made retirement necessary.
a condition of being bankrupt by reason of insolvency.
a becoming insolvent or bankrupt: the failure of a bank.
a person or thing that proves unsuccessful: He is a failure in his career. The cake is a failure.

1635–45; fail + -ure; replacing failer a (de)fault < Anglo-French (noun use of infinitive), for Old French faillir

nonfailure, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To failure
World English Dictionary
failure (ˈfeɪljə)
1.  the act or an instance of failing
2.  a person or thing that is unsuccessful or disappointing: the evening was a failure
3.  nonperformance of something required or expected: failure to attend will be punished
4.  cessation of normal operation; breakdown: a power failure
5.  an insufficiency or shortage: a crop failure
6.  a decline or loss, as in health or strength
7.  the fact of not reaching the required standard in an examination, test, course, etc
8.  the act or process of becoming bankrupt or the state of being bankrupt

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1640s, failer, from Anglo-Fr. failer, from Fr. faillir (see fail). Modern form attested from 1660s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

failure fail·ure (fāl'yər)
The inability to function or perform satisfactorily.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Computing Dictionary

failure definition

The inability of a system or system component to perform a required function within specified limits. A failure may be produced when a fault is encountered.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source
Example sentences
It has been observed that as much, if not more, can be learned from failure as
  from success.
Predictions need a long string of success and failure to evaluate, which at
  this point does not exist.
According to the old saying, you learn more from a failure than a success.
But in truth the failure was not a lack of foresight.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature