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failure - definition and synonyms


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noun failure pronunciation in British English /ˈfeɪljə(r)/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] a lack of success in doing something

    I’m too proud to admit failure.

    end/result in failure:

    Their first attempt to climb Everest ended in failure.

    failure to do something:

    She is depressed by her continued failure to find a job.

    failure of:

    The failure of the talks has made the situation worse.

    Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [countable/uncountable] a situation in which you do not do something that someone expects you to do
    failure of:

    He was angry about the failure of the UN to intervene in the crisis.

    failure to do something:

    Failure to comply with the rules can result in expulsion.

  3. 3
    [countable/uncountable] a situation in which something such as a machine or an organ in your body stops working correctly
    engine/brake/power failure:

    The crash seems to have been caused by an engine failure.

    heart/liver/kidney failure:

    He died from liver failure.

    1. a.
      a situation in which a business cannot continue operating

      Business failures soared by more than a third in the second half of this year.

      Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      a situation in which crops do not finish growing, so that they cannot be used for food
  4. 4
    [countable] someone or something that has not achieved success

    The party was a total failure.

    I feel such a failure.



to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

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the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

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