Fail (?) v. i. [imp. & p. p. Failed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Failing.] [F. failir, fr. L. fallere, falsum, to deceive, akin to E. fall. See Fail, and cf. Fallacy, False, Fault.]


To be wanting; to fall short; to be or become deficient in any measure or degree up to total absence; to cease to be furnished in the usual or expected manner, or to be altogether cut off from supply; to be lacking; as, streams fail; crops fail.

As the waters fail from the sea. Job xiv. 11.

Till Lionel's issue fails, his should not reign. Shak.


To be affected with want; to come short; to lack; to be deficient or unprovided; -- used with of.

If ever they fail of beauty, this failure is not be attributed to their size. Berke.


To fall away; to become diminished; to decline; to decay; to sink.

When earnestly they seek Such proof, conclude they then begin to fail. Milton.


To deteriorate in respect to vigor, activity, resources, etc.; to become weaker; as, a sick man fails.


To perish; to die; -- used of a person.


Had the king in his last sickness failed. Shak.


To be found wanting with respect to an action or a duty to be performed, a result to be secured, etc.; to miss; not to fulfill expectation.

Take heed now that ye fail not to do this. Ezra iv. 22.

Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale. Shak.


To come short of a result or object aimed at or desired ; to be baffled or frusrated.

Our envious foe hath failed. Milton.


To err in judgment; to be mistaken.

Which ofttimes may succeed, so as perhaps Shall grieve him, if I fail not. Milton.


To become unable to meet one's engagements; especially, to be unable to pay one's debts or discharge one's business obligation; to become bankrupt or insolvent.


© Webster 1913.

Fail (?), v. t.


To be wanting to ; to be insufficient for; to disappoint; to desert.

There shall not fail thee a man on the throne. 1 Kings ii. 4.


To miss of attaining; to lose.


Though that seat of earthly bliss be failed. Milton.


© Webster 1913.

Fail, n. [OF. faille, from failir. See Fail, v. i.]


Miscarriage; failure; deficiency; fault; -- mostly superseded by failure or failing, except in the phrase without fail.

"His highness' fail of issue."



Death; decease.




© Webster 1913.

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