Idioms

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

Origin of fail

1175–1225; Middle English failen < Anglo-French, Old French faillir < Vulgar Latin *fallīre, for Latin fallere to disappoint, deceive

Related forms

un·failed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for without fail (1 of 2)

fail

1
/ (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 without fail (2 of 2)

fail

2
/ (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

Idioms and Phrases with without fail (1 of 2)

without fail


For certain, as in That check will arrive tomorrow morning without fail. This idiom today is used mainly to strengthen a statement. [Early 1700s]

Idioms and Phrases with without fail (2 of 2)

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.