Dictionary.com
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Idioms about fail

    without fail, with certainty; positively: I will visit you tomorrow without fail.

Origin of fail

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English failen, from Anglo-French, Old French faillir, from unattested Vulgar Latin fallīre, for Latin fallere “to disappoint, deceive”

OTHER WORDS FROM fail

un·failed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use fail in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fail (1 of 2)

fail1
/ (feɪl) /

verb
noun
a failure to attain the required standard, as in an examination
without fail definitely; with certainty

Word Origin for fail

C13: from Old French faillir, ultimately from Latin fallere to disappoint; probably related to Greek phēlos deceitful

British Dictionary definitions for fail (2 of 2)

fail2
/ (fel) /

noun
Scot a turf; sod

Word Origin for fail

perhaps from Scottish Gaelic fàl
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with fail

fail

see without fail; words fail me.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
FEEDBACK