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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun failure:


Comparison of usage frequency between the noun failure and its most common antonym:

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Definition of the noun failure

What does failure mean as a name of something?

Failure is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

noun - plural: failures

  1. an act that fails
  2. an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose
  3. lack of success
    • examples: he felt that his entire life had been a failure | that year there was a crop failure
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • antonym: success
    • more generic words: circumstances / destiny / fate / fortune / lot / luck / portion = your overall circumstances or condition in life
    • more specific terms:
      • bankruptcy = a state of complete lack of some abstract property
      • bank failure = the inability of a bank to meet its credit obligations
      • crop failure = the failure of crops to produce a marketable surplus
      • dead duck = something doomed to failure
  4. a person with a record of failing; someone who loses consistently
  5. an unexpected omission
    • examples: he resented my failure to return his call | the mechanic's failure to check the brakes
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • more generic words: omission / skip = a mistake resulting from neglect
    • more specific terms:
      • disappointment / dashing hopes = an act (or failure to act) that disappoints someone
      • breach = a failure to perform some promised act or obligation
      • copout = a failure to face some difficulty squarely
  6. inability to discharge all your debts as they come due
    • example: fraudulent loans led to the failure of many banks
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • synonym of failure: bankruptcy
    • more generic word: insolvency = the lack of financial resources
  7. loss of ability to function normally
    • example: kidney failure
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • more generic words: disorder / upset = a physical condition in which there is a disturbance of normal functioning
    • more specific terms:

Alternative definition of the noun failure


  1. State or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, opposite of success.
  2. An object, person or endeavour in a state of failure or incapable of success.
  3. Termination of the ability of an item to perform its required function, breakdown.

Specialised definition of the noun failure

Glossary of management / IT service management / availability management

the termination of the ability of a function unit to perform its required function

Glossary of sports

a lack of success in or at something (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)


  1. "Failure" is the debut album of The Posies. It was first released independently in 1988 on cassette only. In 1989 it was reissued on cassette, LP and CD in 1989 on PopLlama Records. Due to playing time restrictions imposed by the LP manufacturer the band was forced to drop one song from the PopLlama LP edition. The CD version had no time restrictions and includes the same content as the cassette.
  2. "Failure" is a song by the alternative metal band Sevendust from their fifth studio album Next and was released as second single in 2006.
  3. "Failure" is the seventh album by avant-garde band King Missile, and the band's first in its incarnation as "King Missile III." It was released on September 15, 1998.
  4. "Failure" is Assemblage 23's second album, released through Gashed! and, later, Metropolis Records in 2001. The album contains many energetic EBM songs led by emotionally charged lyrics. Most notably from this album came the single "Disappoint," released just before Metropolis' re-release of Failure.
  5. "Failure" is a musical album of Outbreak.
    • released on (8 years ago)
  6. "Failure" is a composition.
  7. "Failure" is a cataloged instance, composition.
  8. "Failure" is a musical single of Kings of Convenience.
    • released on (14 years ago)
  9. "Failure" is a musical single of Skinny.
    • released on (16 years ago)
  10. "Failure" is a composition.
  11. "Failure" is a musical album of Drip of Lies.
    • released in
  12. "Failure" is a musical album of Unicycle Loves You.
    • released on


"Failure" is an award-winning collection of poetry by American poet Philip Shultz. Failure, along with Time and Materials by poet Robert Hass, was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.


Failure is the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success. Product failure ranges from failure to sell the product to fracture of the product, in the worst cases leading to personal injury, the province of forensic engineering.

Phrases with Failure

Phrases starting with the word Failure:

  1. Failure rate
  2. Failure to thrive

Phrases ending with the word Failure:

  1. bank failure
  2. crop failure
  3. brake failure
  4. heart failure
  5. power failure
  6. renal failure
  7. engine failure
  8. Ground Failure
  9. kidney failure
  10. coronary failure
  11. equipment failure
  12. Structural failure
  13. acute renal failure
  14. circulatory failure
  15. acute kidney failure
  16. chronic renal failure
  17. chronic kidney failure
  18. Single point of failure

View more phrases with the word Failure in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Failure

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

Google previewClinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics (2011)

by Roger Walker

Key points • Heart failure is a common condition that affects the quality of life causing fatigue, breathlessness and oedema. It often has a poor prognosis. • Heart failure is a maladaptive condition with haemodynamic and neurohormonal ...

Google previewCongestive Heart Failure (2007)

by Jeffrey D. Hosenpud, Barry H. Greenberg

A working definition that might satisfy both constituencies is that chronic heart failure is a syndrome in which the inability of the heart to provide adequate amounts of oxygenated blood to vital tissue at normal levels of ventricular filling pressure ...

Google previewAcute Heart Failure (2009)

by Alexandre Mebazaa, Mihai Gheorghiade, Faiez Zannad, Joseph E. Parrillo

Furthermore, heart failure is the most frequently encountered postoperative cardiac complication of noncardiac surgery (1,2).

decompensated heart failure is a major clinical marker, and prior heart failure is an intermediate clinical marker for ...

Google previewBurket's Oral Medicine (2003)

Diagnosis & Treatment by Martin S. Greenberg, Michael Glick

Chronic renal failure is a slow, irreversible, and progressive process that occurs over a period of years whereas acute renal...

reversible if managed appropriately whereas chronic renal failure is a progressive and irreversible process that leads to death in...

Postrenal failure refers to conditions that obstruct the flow of urine from the kidneys at any level of the urinary tract and that...

Google previewAcccn's Critical Care Nursing (2016)

by Leanne Aitken, Andrea Marshall, Wendy Chaboyer

Heart failure is a complex clinical condition that is characterised by an underlying structural abnormality or dysfunction that...

Internationally, heart failure is the most common cause of hospitalisation in patients aged over 70 years.59...

Google previewFoundations for Osteopathic Medicine (2003)

by Robert C. Ward

Heart failure is a symptomatic disorder that occurs as a consequence of multiple influences on a patient with structural heart disease. Decompensation of heart failure is a clinical consideration of considerable relevance to the management of ...

Google previewAdvances in Water Resources Engineering (2014)

by Chih Ted Yang, Lawrence K Wang

Rotational failure is a deep-seated movement of material both downward and outward along a curved slip surface. After the failure, the...

Google previewChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Exacerbations (2008)

by Jadwiga A. Wedzicha, Fernando J. Martinez

As a consequence, acute or acute-on-chronic respiratory failure is a common cause for hospital admission in this subset of patients, and somehow hypoxemia is linked to hospitalization that underprescription of oxygen has been shown to be ...

Google previewCardiac Biomarkers: Expert Advice for Clinicians (2012)

by Alan S Maisel

Yang Xue, Navaid Iqbal, Arrash Fard, Alan S Maisel INTRODUCTION Heart failure is a serious healthcare challenge with 5.8 million heart failure patients in the United States alone.1 Heart failure is the leading diagnosis among hospitalized ...

Google previewAchars Textbook Of Pediatrics (4Th Edn)

by Swarna Rekha Bhat (ed.)

Prerenal failure is the most common form of ARF in children. It is an oliguric state resulting from diminished...

Intrinsic renal failure is a decrease in renal function following acute renal parenchymal insult. This may occur in various types of ...

Google previewThe Genius is Inside. (2010)

A high performance step-by-step strategy guide for small and medium size companies. by Michel David

Failure is the threshold of knowledge. Since new knowledge is that by which we progress,

Google previewFault-Diagnosis Systems (2006)

An Introduction from Fault Detection to Fault Tolerance by Rolf Isermann

Failure: “A failure is a permanent interruption of a system's ability to perform a required function under specified...

Google previewOxford Handbook of Clinical Pathology (2012)

by James Carton

Pathogenesis • Type 1 respiratory failure is a result of ventilation/perfusion mismatching in areas of the lungs. Increased ventilation removes any excess carbon dioxide, but cannot compensate for the low pO2. • Type 2 respiratory failure is a ...

Google previewEssence of Creativity (1990)

A Guide to Tackling Difficult Problems by Steven Kim

A mixed failure is a weak form that is part victory and part defeat. This type of result serves to modify the germinating...

The passive failure refers to the lack of results, whether positive or negative. In the manufacturing science example, ...

Google previewNutrition and Diet Therapy Reference Dictionary (1996)

by Rosalinda T. Lagua, Virginia Serraon Claudio

Respiratory failure and thence to oxygen, forming water. The principal types of respiratory enzymes are the oxidases and dehydrogena.SeS. Respiratory failure. Inability of the pulmonary system to maintain an adequate exchange of ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Finance (2006)

by Cheng-Few Lee

FAILURE: DEFINITIONS,. METHODS,. AND. FAILURE. PREDICTION. MODELS. JENIFER PIESSE, University of London, UK and University of Stellenbosch, South Africa CHENG-FEW LEE, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan and Rutgers ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Women's Health (2004)

by Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic

Congestive Heart Failure payers (for instance, Medicare or private health insurers), quality of care auditors (such as surveyors of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations), and other public and private entities ( like ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Geomorphology (2013)

by Andrew Goudie, Visiting Professor and Special Adviser to the Principal Andrew Goudie

Bulging Erosion Before After Desiccation Before After Figure 10 Characteristics of bank failure (from Hey et al. 1991...

Rotational failure with weak zone • failure surface dictated by position of weak zone • see also comments for type (d) (f) ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Failure

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Photos about Failure

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Metal airplane in cloud like a star galaxy on dark background; concepts: crash, failure, business failure, flat laySmall photo of Broken and Glowing light bulb comparison concept, problem and solution, failure and success, learning from mistakeSmall photo of Stop Domino Effect - Hand Prevents FailureSmall photo of three worried coworkers different sexes experiencing business failure in firm officeSmall photo of Failure is success in progress - inspirational text on a slate blackboard with a white chalk and a stack of books against rustic wooden tableSmall photo of Business Woman Having Headache While Working Using Laptop Computer. Stressed And Depressed Girl Touching Her Head, Feeling Pain While Sitting At Wooden Table At Cafe. Work Failure ConceptSmall photo of Business Woman Having Headache While Working Using Laptop Computer. Stressed And Depressed Girl Touching Her Head, Feeling Pain While Sitting At Wooden Table At Cafe. Work Failure Concept More...

Video language resources about Failure

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View more videos about The Failure, heart failure, Engine Failure, and Ground Failure.

See also the pronunciation examples of Failure!

Sign language

[loud] failure to yield - sign language

Northbound on Lyndale Avenue at 27th Street, a silver sedan failed to yield right-of-way while crossing Lyndale.

Quotes about Failure

Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. (Denis Watley)
more quotes about failure...

Scrabble value of F4A1I1L1U1R1E1

The value of this 7-letter word is 10 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of FAILURE

What do you get if you rearrange the letters?

See also the blanagrams of Failure!

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