fail

fail

synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of fail in English

English Online Dictionary. What means fail‎? What does fail mean?

English

Alternative forms

  • faile (obsolete)

Pronunciation

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

Etymology 1

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

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

  1. (intransitive) To be unsuccessful.
  2. (transitive) Not to achieve a particular stated goal. (Usage note: The direct object of this word is usually an infinitive.)
  3. (transitive) To neglect.
  4. (intransitive) Of a machine, etc.: to cease to operate correctly.
  5. (transitive) To be wanting to, to be insufficient for, to disappoint, to desert; to disappoint one's expectations.
  6. (transitive, intransitive) To receive one or more non-passing grades in academic pursuits.
  7. (transitive) To give a student a non-passing grade in an academic endeavour.
  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.
  10. (archaic) To be affected with want; to come short; to lack; to be deficient or unprovided; used with of.
  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.
  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
  • This is a catenative verb which takes the to infinitive. See Appendix:English catenative verbs
Conjugation
Alternative forms
  • faile (obsolete)
  • fayle (obsolete)
Synonyms
  • (to be unsuccessful): come to nought, come to nothing, crash and burn, fall flat, fall on one's face, go downhill, go down the toilet, go to pot, go to the dogs, go up in flames, go up in smoke (not vulgar); die in the ass, everything one touches turns to shit, go to hell, go to shit (vulgar)
  • (to receive non-passing grades in academic pursuits): flunk (US)
  • (to become deficient): bomb, bust, conk, tank
Antonyms
  • (antonym(s) of to be unsuccessful): succeed
Derived terms
Related terms
  • default
  • fallacy
  • false
  • fault
Descendants
  • Welsh: ffaelu
Translations

Noun

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.
Derived terms

Adjective

fail (comparative more fail, superlative most fail)

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

Etymology 2

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

Alternative forms

  • feal

Noun

fail (plural fails)

  1. A piece of turf cut from grassland.
Derived terms
  • fail and divot

References

  • “fail”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
  • “fail”, in The Century Dictionary [], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
  • “fail”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.

Anagrams

  • -afil, alif, fila

Indonesian

Etymology

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

Pronunciation

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

Noun

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

  • “fail” in Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia, Jakarta: Agency for Language Development and Cultivation – Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia, 2016.

Irish

Etymology

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

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /fˠalʲ/

Noun

fail f (genitive singular faile, nominative plural faileanna)

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

Declension

Mutation

Malay

Etymology

From English file.

Noun

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

  • pemfailan (the process of filing)
  • berfail-fail (a lot of files)

Verb

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

Verb

fail

  1. Alternative form of fil

Turkish

Etymology

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

Pronunciation

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

Noun

fail (definite accusative faili, plural failler)

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

Declension

Derived terms

Related terms

References

Further reading

  • “fail”, in Turkish dictionaries, Türk Dil Kurumu
  • Çağbayır, Yaşar (2007) “fail”, in Ötüken Türkçe Sözlük (in Turkish), volume 2, Istanbul: Ötüken Neşriyat, page 1540
  • Avery, Robert et al., editors (2013), The Redhouse Dictionary Turkish/Ottoman English, 21st edition, Istanbul: Sev Yayıncılık, →ISBN

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.