F f


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [feyl]
    • /feɪl/
    • /feɪl/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [feyl]
    • /feɪl/

Definitions of fail word

  • verb without object fail to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved: The experiment failed because of poor planning. 1
  • verb without object fail to receive less than the passing grade or mark in an examination, class, or course of study: He failed in history. 1
  • verb without object fail to be or become deficient or lacking; be insufficient or absent; fall short: Our supplies failed. 1
  • verb without object fail to dwindle, pass, or die away: The flowers failed for lack of rain. 1
  • verb without object fail to lose strength or vigor; become weak: His health failed after the operation. 1
  • verb without object fail to become unable to meet or pay debts or business obligations; become insolvent or bankrupt. 1

Information block about the term

Origin of fail

First appearance:

before 1175
One of the 8% oldest English words
1175-1225; Middle English failen < Anglo-French, Old French faillir < Vulgar Latin *fallīre, for Latin fallere to disappoint, deceive

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Fail


fail popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 98% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

fail usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for fail

verb fail

  • decline — If something declines, it becomes less in quantity, importance, or strength.
  • fall — to come or drop down suddenly to a lower position, especially to leave a standing or erect position suddenly, whether voluntarily or not: to fall on one's knees.
  • founder — a person who founds or casts metal, glass, etc.
  • flounder — to struggle with stumbling or plunging movements (usually followed by about, along, on, through, etc.): He saw the child floundering about in the water.
  • flop — to fall or plump down suddenly, especially with noise; drop or turn with a sudden bump or thud (sometimes followed by down): The puppy flopped down on the couch.

Antonyms for fail

verb fail

  • ascend — If you ascend a hill or staircase, you go up it.
  • accomplish — If you accomplish something, you succeed in doing it.
  • achieve — If you achieve a particular aim or effect, you succeed in doing it or causing it to happen, usually after a lot of effort.
  • gain — to make a gain or gains in.
  • merit — claim to respect and praise; excellence; worth.

Top questions with fail

  • what happens if you fail a drug test?
  • oceans where feet may fail?
  • why did the articles of confederation fail?
  • why nations fail?
  • where feet may fail?
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  • why did the league of nations fail?
  • where words fail music speaks?
  • why marriages fail?
  • when geniuses fail?
  • what happens when kidneys fail?
  • how often do condoms fail?
  • how to fail a sleep apnea test?
  • what happens if i fail a drug test?
  • why did john brown's raid on harpers ferry fail?

See also

Matching words

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