English

Definition of failure noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    failure

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//ˈfeɪljə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfeɪljər//
     
     
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    not successful
  1. 1  [uncountable] lack of success in doing or achieving something The success or failure of the plan depends on you. The attempt was doomed to failure. All my efforts ended in failure. the problems of economic failure and increasing unemployment She is still coming to terms with the failure of her marriage. opposite success
  2. 2  [countable] a person or thing that is not successful The whole thing was a complete failure. He was a failure as a teacher. A team learns from experience, both successes and failures. opposite success
  3. not doing something
  4. 3  [uncountable, countable] failure to do something an act of not doing something, especially something that you are expected to do the failure of the United Nations to maintain food supplies Failure to comply with the regulations will result in prosecution. His confession followed repeated failures to appear in court.
  5. of machine/part of body
  6. 4  [uncountable, countable] the state of not working correctly or as expected; an occasion when this happens patients suffering from heart/kidney, etc. failure Production has been hampered by mechanical failure. A power failure plunged everything into darkness. The cause of the crash was given as engine failure.
  7. of business
  8. 5[countable, uncountable] business failure a situation in which a business has to close because it is not successful an alarming increase in business failures
  9. of crop/harvest
  10. 6[uncountable, countable] crop/harvest failure a situation in which crops do not grow correctly and do not produce food Bad weather has resulted in crop failure.
  11. Word Origin mid 17th cent. (originally as failer, in the senses ‘non-occurrence’ and ‘stopping of supply’): from Anglo-Norman French failer for Old French faillir, based on Latin fallere ‘deceive’.Extra examples All her efforts were doomed to failure. Business failures rose by 30% in 2001. Children who are doing badly tend to expect failure and criticism. Fear of failure should not deter you from trying. He attributes the failure of the project to lack of government support. He lamented his failure to formulate a satisfactory theory. He was too proud to admit failure. Her ideas were large: if she could not succeed, she would at least be a heroic failure. Her parents had long since branded her a failure. I blame the failure of our relationship on my husband. I felt (like) a complete failure. I will not tolerate failure. Initial failure was followed by unexpected, if modest, success. John had a long history of academic failure. Nothing can excuse your failure to ask my permission. The aircraft seems to have experienced an engine failure. The attempt ended in abject failure. The decision to withdraw funding represents a failure of imagination. The film was one of the rare failures in his career. The venture proved a costly failure. There is a high failure rate with this treatment. This breach constitutes a serious failure in performance. War is the ultimate failure of public communication. a failure in the computer system a rare viral infection that can lead to heart failure economic failure and increasing unemployment failures arising from circumstances beyond your control government failure to listen to the voice of the electorate patients with chronic renal failure seeking to excuse his failure to ask her permission the commonest cause of acute liver failure to learn from past failures All my efforts ended in failure. Failure to comply with the regulations will result in prosecution. His confession followed repeated failures to appear in court. The attempt was doomed to failure. The project was considered a failure in both technical and economic terms. The rebellion was a dismal failure. There has been an alarming increase in business failures. patients suffering from heart/​kidney failure
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: failure

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