Fail v. i. [imp. & p. p. Failed p. pr. & vb. n. Failing.]
1. To be wanting; to fall short; to be or become deficient in any measure or degree up to total absence; to cease to be furnished in the usual or expected manner, or to be altogether cut off from supply; to be lacking; as, streams fail; crops fail.
As the waters fail from the sea. --Job xiv. 11.
Till Lionel's issue fails, his should not reign. --Shak.
2. To be affected with want; to come short; to lack; to be deficient or unprovided; -- used with of.
If ever they fail of beauty, this failure is not be attributed to their size. --Berke.
3. To fall away; to become diminished; to decline; to decay; to sink.
When earnestly they seek
Such proof, conclude they then begin to fail. --Milton.
4. To deteriorate in respect to vigor, activity, resources, etc.; to become weaker; as, a sick man fails.
5. To perish; to die; -- used of a person. [Obs.]
Had the king in his last sickness failed. --Shak.
6. To be found wanting with respect to an action or a duty to be performed, a result to be secured, etc.; to miss; not to fulfill expectation.
Take heed now that ye fail not to do this. --Ezra iv. 22.
Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale. --Shak.
7. To come short of a result or object aimed at or desired ; to be baffled or frusrated.
Our envious foe hath failed. --Milton.
8. To err in judgment; to be mistaken.
Which ofttimes may succeed, so as perhaps
Shall grieve him, if I fail not. --Milton.
9. 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; as, many credit unions failed in the late 1980's.
1. A failing short; a becoming deficient; failure; deficiency; imperfection; weakness; lapse; fault; infirmity; as, a mental failing.
And ever in her mind she cast about
For that unnoticed failing in herself. --Tennyson.
2. The act of becoming insolvent of bankrupt.
Syn: -- See Fault.
adj 1: unable to meet financial obligations; "a failing business
venture" [syn: failed]
2: below acceptable in performance; "received failing grades"
n 1: a flaw or weak point; "he was quick to point out his wife's
failings" [syn: weakness]
2: failure to reach a minimum required performance; "his
failing the course led to his disqualification" [ant: passing]