- to make an embarrassing or humorous mistake, be in a humiliating situation, etc., and be subject to ridicule: Showed up late to the wedding? You fail!
- to be embarrassingly incompetent, stupid, etc.: She fails at life. I just failed at walking and fell on my face.
- to be bad or of inferior quality: The play is terrible—even the music fails.
- an embarrassing or humorous mistake, humiliating situation, etc., that is subject to ridicule and given an exaggerated importance: Their app update is a massive fail.
- the condition or quality resulting from having failed in this way: His online post is full of fail.
- a person who fails in this way.
- a stockbroker's inability to deliver or receive security within the required time after sale or purchase.
- such an undelivered security.
- (used to mock an embarrassing or humorous mistake, humiliating situation, etc., giving it an exaggerated importance): A tattoo that misspells your name? Fail!
- (used to indicate that something is bad or of inferior quality)
- of or noting an embarrassing or humorous mistake, humiliating situation, etc.: the top 100 funniest fail photos on the internet.
- embarrassingly incompetent, stupid, etc: Why am I so fail?
- very bad or of inferior quality.
Idioms about fail
Origin of fail
OTHER WORDS FROM failun·failed, adjective
Words nearby fail
How to use fail in a sentence
In this kind of “lights-out” datacenter, the servers would be swapped out about once every five years, with any that fail before then being taken offline.Microsoft Had a Crazy Idea to Put Servers Under Water—and It Totally Worked|Vanessa Bates Ramirez|September 17, 2020|Singularity Hub
An engineer’s brilliant plan for an automated system that would work for the billion dollar travel entity, but result in the failed account of the small realtor isn’t actually the right way…even if it’s more efficient for some automated program.This decade’s most important marketing question: What data rights do advertisers possess?|Kirk Williams|September 17, 2020|Search Engine Land
He constantly insists that his approval rating among Republicans is at 96 percent, an invented figure, and nearly as often insists that polls are failing to capture his full support.If voters are wary of stating support for Trump in polls, why does he outperform GOP Senate candidates?|Philip Bump|September 16, 2020|Washington Post
However, the system was triggered erroneously by a single sensor that failed in both crashes and it continued to push the nose down repeatedly.Boeing crashes were the “horrific culmination” of multiple mistakes, House report says|kdunn6|September 16, 2020|Fortune
I woke up before 7 AM, and the feeling of dread increased with every passing hour as the sun failed to appear.For millions of Americans, the wildfires made climate change real|Michael J. Coren|September 15, 2020|Quartz
The Big Five banks dubbed too big to fail, are 35 percent bigger than they were when the meltdown was triggered.Sen. Warren’s Main Street Crusade to Pressure Clinton|Eleanor Clift|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Diets not only fail to make us thinner, they also fail to make us healthier in the long term.Why Your New Year’s Diet Will Fail|Carrie Arnold|December 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Direct funds away from practices, policies, and programs that consistently fail to achieve measurable outcomes.Can the U.S. Government Go Moneyball?|Peter Orszag, Jim Nussle|December 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
These banks…are a whole lot bigger now than they were when we bailed them out in 2008 because they were too big to fail.
Instead, everyone agrees it has simply reinscribed too big to fail as explicit law.
It would make everyone careful, of course, but I fail to see any grievance in that.The Salvaging Of Civilisation|H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
Words fail to describe my feelings as I watched the clothes come off him and dry ones go on just as if hands were arranging them.Uncanny Tales|Various
Who among us would fail to believe what we have, perhaps, secretly wished for in our heart of hearts?The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
I knew you would, dear Mr Brammel—a gentleman of your discretion would not fail to do so.
If you did fail, you would try Exclusion, and you would find nothing which is the antithesis of the area of New York.Assimilative Memory|Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
British Dictionary definitions for fail (1 of 2)
Word Origin for fail
British Dictionary definitions for fail (2 of 2)
Word Origin for fail
Other Idioms and Phrases with fail
see without fail; words fail me.