a nation in which the government has lost political authority and control and is unable to fulfill the basic responsibilities of a sovereign state.
Origin of failed state
First recorded in 1990–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for failed state
a weak state where social and political structures have collapsed to the point where the government has little or no control
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