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Header of fail

Fail

Fail appears in the following tongue twister:

  • If you stick a stock of liquor in your locker
    it is slick to stick a lock upon your stock
    or some joker who is slicker
    is going to trick you of your liquor
    if you fail to lock your liquor with a lock.

The word fail is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

Video footage: POV man playing with dog, dog jumps fail play ball
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Definition of the noun fail

What does fail mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: fails

  1. a failure, especially of a financial transaction
  2. a failing grade in an academic examination

Definition of the verb fail

What does fail mean as a doing word?

Fail is one of the top 1000 most common verbs. It is used mostly in writing, being one of the top 1000 most common verbs in written English.View more statistics!

verb - inflections: failed | failing | fails

  1. fail to do something; leave something undone
    • examples: She failed to notice that her child was no longer in his crib | The secretary failed to call the customer and the company lost the account
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formulaVerbs with the same syntax
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme]I neglected the jobNeglect Verbs: flub, forego, forgo, neglect
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme, subject control with infinitive]I neglected to do the job
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb]I failedSucceed Verbs: flub
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme, subject control with infinitive]I failed to pass the test
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme, not sentential clause]I failed the test
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] in [Theme, subject control with -ing]I failed in attempting the test
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] in [Theme, not sentential clause]I failed in maths
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • synonym of fail: neglect
    • more specific terms:
      • lose track = fail to keep informed or aware
      • strike out = put out or be put out by a strikeout
      • default on / default = fail to pay up
      • choke = fail to perform adequately due to tension or agitation
      • muff = fail to catch, as of a ball
      • miss = fail to attend an event or activity
  2. be unsuccessful
  3. disappoint, prove undependable to; abandon, forsake
    • examples: His sense of smell failed him this time | His strength finally failed him | His children failed him in the crisis
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme]I neglected the job
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme, subject control with infinitive]I neglected to do the job

      Neglect Verbs (with the same syntax): flub, forego, forgo, neglect.

    • lexical domain: Emotions - verbs of feeling
    • synonym of fail: betray
    • more generic terms: disappoint / let down = fail to meet the hopes or expectations of
  4. stop operating or functioning
  5. be unable
    • example: I fail to understand your motives
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • antonym: manage
  6. judge unacceptable
    • example: The teacher failed six students
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • antonym: pass
    • more generic terms: evaluate / judge / pass judgment = form a critical opinion of
  7. fail to get a passing grade
    • examples: She studied hard but failed nevertheless | Did I fail the test?
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
    • synonyms of fail: bomb / flunk / flush it
    • antonym of fail: pass
  8. fall short in what is expected
    • examples: She failed in her obligations as a good daughter-in-law | We must not fail his obligation to the victims of the Holocaust
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 2
    • lexical domain: Activities - verbs of political and social activities and events
  9. become bankrupt or insolvent; fail financially and close
    • example: A number of banks failed that year
    • lexical domain: Possession - verbs of buying, selling, owning
  10. prove insufficient
    • example: The water supply for the town failed after a long drought
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonyms of fail: give out / run out
  11. get worse
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • more generic words: decline / worsen = grow worse

Alternative definition of the verb fail

verb

  1. [intransitive] To be unsuccessful.
  2. [transitive] Not to achieve a particular stated goal. (Usage note: The direct object of this word is usually an infinitive.)
  3. [transitive] To neglect.
  4. [intransitive, of a machine, etc.] To cease to operate correctly.
  5. [transitive] To be wanting to, to be insufficient for, to disappoint, to desert.
  6. [intransitive] To receive one or more non-passing grades in academic pursuits.
  7. [transitive] To give a student a non-passing grade in an academic endeavour.

Specialised definition of the verb fail

Glossary of sports / athletics

if an athlete fails at a height in the high jump or pole vault, he or she fails to clear the bar (2005. Chambers Sports Factfinder. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd)

Music

  1. "Fail" a.k.a. "#fail" is a musical single of Bastard Fish & Oscar Zia.
    • also known as #fail (Acoustic version)
    • released in (7 years ago)
  2. "Fail" a.k.a. "#Fail" is an album by Oscar Zia.
    • released in

Film

Fail is a comedy TV series released in 2011.

Phrases with Fail

Phrases starting with the word Fail:

  1. Fail'd
  2. Fail Over
  3. fail-safe
  4. Fail-Secure

Phrases ending with the word Fail:

  1. to fail
  2. Epic Fail
  3. Pass-Fail
  4. Fianna fail
  5. Made of Fail
  6. Without Fail
  7. Too Big to fail

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Fail

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewJoey and Johnny, the Ninjas: Epic Fail (2016)

by Kevin Serwacki, Chris Pallace

Epic Fail is the second book in the insanely funny and action-packed Joey and Johnny, the Ninjas series about two best friends and ninjas-in-training—perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Origami Yoda.

Google previewLiberty for All (2015)

A Manifesto for Reclaiming Financial and Political Freedom by Rick Newman

Larry Page, CEO of Google, says, “The main thing that has caused companies to fail is that they missed the future.”6 They didn't see what was coming and got sideswiped when it arrived. Nobody can predict every possible eventuality, but ...

Google previewFailsafe IS Project Delivery (2001)

by Andrew Holmes

The finger- pointing that takes place when projects fail is a powerful motivator to hide, cover up and generally ignore problems ...

Google previewThe International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (1915)

by James Orr

"Fail" is both intrans, "to fall short," "be wanting," and trans, "to be wanting to." Of the many words tr*1 "fail" in the OT, kalah is the most frequent, meaning "to be consumed," ...

Google previewAn Irish-English Dictionary, Containing Upwards of Twenty Thousand Words that Never Appeared in Any Former Irish Lexicon: with Copious Quotations from the Most Esteemed Ancient and Modern Writers, to Elucidate the Meaning of Obscure Words and Numerous Comparisons ... ; to which is Annexed, a Compendious Irish Grammar. By Edward O'Reilly (1821)

fail, s. f. the hick-up *4), Jai, s. f. arimor border, round the edge of ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Human Memory [3 volumes] (2013)

by Annette Kujawski Taylor Ph.D.

Generally people fail to pay attention to the keys when placing the keys in the trunk of the car; instead attention is on the grocery bags and maybe the cell phone at the ear. Because of the failure to fully encode where the keys were placed, the ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Fail

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Usage statistics about fail

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Usage statistics for the verb fail:

spoken English20.09%written English79.91% imaginative writing31.47%informational writing68.53%

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb fail:

miscarrybombbetrayneglectfailbreakdiego

Comparison of usage frequency between the verb fail and its most common antonyms:

passfail managefail succeedfail

Photos about Fail

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fail

View more pictures about Epic Fail.

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Failed Fail Failing Fiasco Inability Unsuccessful ConceptSmall photo of Businessman Fails Building Tower, Concept For Challenge And Fail In BusinessSmall photo of Fails Building Tower, Concept For Challenge And Fail In BusinessSmall photo of Fails Building Tower, Concept For Challenge And Fail In BusinessSmall photo of Rubber stamping that says 'Fail'.Small photo of Businesses have both been successful and failSmall photo of Fail Failed Failing Failure Fiasco Defeat Collapse Concept More...

Video language resources about Fail

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View more videos about Epic Fail, Made of Fail, and Too Big to fail.

See also the pronunciation examples of Fail!

Sign language

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Quotes about Fail

The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change; until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds. (R. D. Laing)
more quotes about fail...

Scrabble value of F4A1I1L1

The value of this 4-letter word is 7 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of FAIL

What do you get if you rearrange the letters?

See also the blanagrams of Fail!

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