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



    BrE BrE//fɔːlt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːlt//
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  1. 1  [uncountable] the responsibility for something wrong that has happened or been done Why should I say sorry when it's not my fault? It's nobody's fault. fault (that…) It was his fault that we were late. fault (for doing something) It's your own fault for being careless. Many people live in poverty through no fault of their own. I think the owners are at fault (= responsible) for not warning us. He believes that the product’s poor image is partly the fault of the press.
  2. in somebody’s character
  3. 2  [countable] a bad or weak aspect of somebody’s character synonym shortcoming He's proud of his children and blind to their faults. I love her for all her faults (= in spite of them). I think my worst fault is impatience.
  4. something wrong
  5. 3  [countable] something that is wrong or not perfect; something that is wrong with a machine or system that stops it from working correctly synonym defect The book's virtues far outweigh its faults. The system, for all its faults, is the best available at the moment. a major fault in the design a structural fault an electrical fault
  6. in tennis
  7. 4[countable] a mistake made when serving He has served a number of double faults in this set. See related entries: Tennis
  8. geology
  9. 5 [countable] a place where there is a break that is longer than usual in the layers of rock in the earth’s crust the San Andreas fault a fault line
  10. Word OriginMiddle English faut(e) ‘lack, failing’, from Old French, based on Latin fallere ‘deceive’. The -l- was added (in French and English) in the 15th cent. to conform with the Latin word, but did not become standard in English until the 17th cent., remaining silent in pronunciation until well into the 18th.Extra examples Diabetes is caused by a fault in the insulin production of the body. Even tennis champions sometimes serve double faults. For all her faults she was a great woman. For all its faults, we love this city. For all its faults= in spite of the faults, we love this city. Having made an error of judgement she was not without fault in the matter. He is blind to his son’s faults. He is generous to a fault. He’s deliberately picking fault with the meal to get a reduction on the bill. Her great fault was that she thought too much of herself. I have to accept and realize my faults. Incorrectness in speech was considered a great fault in a gentleman. It was my entire fault. I ruined everything. It’s all your own fault, you know. It’s his own stupid fault his car was stolen—he should have kept it locked. Many of the soldiers died through his fault. My biggest fault was my laziness. My mother did nothing but find fault with my manners. No one had ever pointed out my faults to my face before. Of course, minor mechanical faults sometimes occur. She was always finding fault with his manners. She was prepared to overlook his faults. The car soon developed another fault. The engine has a serious fault. The fault lay in the structure of the economy. The fault lay not with her but with her manager. The only real fault of the book is its looseness of structure. The party at fault in a court case usually pays the other party’s legal costs. There is a basic fault in the design of the engine. It cannot be fixed. These are just a few of the glaring faults that ruined the movie for me. They’ve found a major fault with the electrical system. We all have our faults. We’re trying to correct the faults in the program. When she tested the recorder she could find no fault with it. You should report any fault directly to the phone company. a common fault with this type of machine helping people who, through no fault of their own, have lost their homes the absence of fault on the part of the prosecution A major design fault was discovered in the latest model of the car. Broadcasting was suspended because of a technical fault in the transmitter. He believes that the product’s poor image is partly the fault of the press. He viewed independence as a serious fault in a young girl. I think the owners are at fault for not warning us. If a fault develops in the equipment, you can call us 24 hours a day. It’s nobody’s fault. It’s your own fault for being careless. Many people live in poverty through no fault of their own. She is blind to all her son’s faults. The book’s virtues far outweigh its faults. The children were told to pray that their moral faults would be overcome. The fire was caused by an electrical fault. The healthcare system, for all its faults, is far better than ever before. There seemed to be some fault with the cooling system. Why should I say sorry when it’s not my fault? a technical/​mechanical/​structural/​design defect/​faultIdioms
    find fault (with somebody/something)
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    to look for and discover mistakes in somebody/something; to complain about somebody/something
    used to say that somebody has a lot, or even too much, of a particular good quality She is generous to a fault.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: fault