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Meaning of fail

1 definition found

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

      v 1: fail to do something; leave something undone; "She failed
           to notice that her child was no longer in his crib"; "The
           secretary failed to call the customer and the company lost
           the account" [syn: {fail}, {neglect}]
      2: be unsuccessful; "Where do today's public schools fail?";
         "The attempt to rescue the hostages failed miserably" [syn:
         {fail}, {go wrong}, {miscarry}] [ant: {bring home the bacon},
         {come through}, {deliver the goods}, {succeed}, {win}]
      3: disappoint, prove undependable to; abandon, forsake; "His
         sense of smell failed him this time"; "His strength finally
         failed him"; "His children failed him in the crisis" [syn:
         {fail}, {betray}]
      4: stop operating or functioning; "The engine finally went";
         "The car died on the road"; "The bus we travelled in broke
         down on the way to town"; "The coffee maker broke"; "The
         engine failed on the way to town"; "her eyesight went after
         the accident" [syn: {fail}, {go bad}, {give way}, {die},
         {give out}, {conk out}, {go}, {break}, {break down}]
      5: be unable; "I fail to understand your motives" [ant: {bring
         off}, {carry off}, {manage}, {negociate}, {pull off}]
      6: judge unacceptable; "The teacher failed six students" [ant:
      7: fail to get a passing grade; "She studied hard but failed
         nevertheless"; "Did I fail the test?" [syn: {fail}, {flunk},
         {bomb}, {flush it}] [ant: {make it}, {pass}]
      8: fall short in what is expected; "She failed in her
         obligations as a good daughter-in-law"; "We must not fail his
         obligation to the victims of the Holocaust"
      9: become bankrupt or insolvent; fail financially and close;
         "The toy company went bankrupt after the competition hired
         cheap Mexican labor"; "A number of banks failed that year"
      10: prove insufficient; "The water supply for the town failed
          after a long drought" [syn: {fail}, {run out}, {give out}]
      11: get worse; "Her health is declining"

WordNet ® Princeton University. http://wordnet.princeton.edu

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