F f


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

Definitions of fail-safe word

  • adjective fail-safe Electronics. pertaining to or noting a mechanism built into a system, as in an early warning system or a nuclear reactor, for insuring safety should the system fail to operate properly. 1
  • adjective fail-safe equipped with a secondary system that insures continued operation even if the primary system fails. 1
  • adjective fail-safe (sometimes initial capital letter) of, relating to, or designating a system of coded military controls in which bombers dispatched to a prearranged point as part of a standard operating procedure cannot advance farther without direct orders from a designated authority and cannot have the nuclear warheads they carry armed until they have passed their prearranged point. 1
  • adjective fail-safe guaranteed to work; totally reliable: a fail-safe recipe for a cheese soufflé. 1
  • noun fail-safe (sometimes initial capital letter) the point beyond which the bombers cannot go without specific instruction; the fail-safe point. 1
  • noun fail-safe something designed to work or function automatically to prevent breakdown of a mechanism, system, or the like. 1

Information block about the term

Origin of fail-safe

First appearance:

before 1945
One of the 6% newest English words
First recorded in 1945-50; apparently from verb phrase to fail safe(ly)

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Fail-safe


fail-safe popularity

A pretty common term. Usually people know it’s meaning, but prefer to use a more spread out synonym. About 34% of English native speakers know the meaning and use word.
According to our data about 64% of words is more used. This is a rare but used term. It occurs in the pages of specialized literature and in the speech of educated people.

Synonyms for fail-safe

adj fail-safe

  • soundThe, a strait between SW Sweden and Zealand, connecting the Kattegat and the Baltic. 87 miles (140 km) long; 3–30 miles (5–48 km) wide.
  • confident — If you are confident about something, you are certain that it will happen in the way you want it to.
  • foolproof — involving no risk or harm, even when tampered with.
  • protected — to defend or guard from attack, invasion, loss, annoyance, insult, etc.; cover or shield from injury or danger.
  • reliable — that may be relied on or trusted; dependable in achievement, accuracy, honesty, etc.: reliable information.

Top questions with fail-safe

  • what is fail-safe?
  • what is fail-safe in java?

See also

Matching words

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