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[fal-uh-buh l] /ˈfæl ə bəl/
(of persons) liable to err, especially in being deceived or mistaken.
liable to be erroneous or false; not accurate:
fallible information.
Origin of fallible
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin fallibilis, equivalent to Latin fall(ī) (passive of fallere to deceive) + -ibilis -ible
Related forms
fallibility, fallibleness, noun
fallibly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fallible
  • They are ultimately composed of mortal, fallible human beings not unlike the rest of us.
  • In both kinds of situations, human memory is fallible.
  • They are as fallible and mixed up as everyone else, and often involved in outright fraud in their quest for fame and money.
  • Predictions of the dates of future achievements are notoriously fallible.
  • We now know that cannot work--experts are too fallible, and too much power corrupts.
  • If my judgement is unacceptably fallible, then it would be impossible for me to make that identification.
  • The punch-bowl approach similarly depends on fallible human beings, who may react too late or too early.
  • Human intervention is no less fallible than the firewall.
  • They die for two reasons: people are fallible, and medicine has an effect on the human body.
  • Much as the fine points of perception are fallible to illusion, the details of memory are fallible to suggestion.
British Dictionary definitions for fallible


capable of being mistaken; erring
liable to mislead
Derived Forms
fallibility, fallibleness, noun
fallibly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Medieval Latin fallibilis, from Latin fallere to deceive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fallible

early 15c., from Medieval Latin fallibilis "liable to err, deceitful." literally "that can be deceived," from Latin fallere "deceive" (see fail).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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