[ fey-ling ]
See synonyms for: failingfailings on

  1. an act or instance of failing; failure: His failing is due to general incompetence.

  2. a defect or fault; shortcoming; weakness: His lack of knowledge is a grave failing.

  1. in the absence or default of: Failing payment, we shall sue.

Origin of failing

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English; see origin at fail, -ing1

synonym study For failing

2. See fault.

Other words from failing

  • fail·ing·ly, adverb
  • fail·ing·ness, noun

Words Nearby failing Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use failing in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for failing


/ (ˈfeɪlɪŋ) /

  1. a weak point; flaw

  1. (used to express a condition) in default of: failing a solution this afternoon, the problem will have to wait until Monday

Derived forms of failing

  • failingly, adverb

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