Fail, n. [OF. faille, from
failir. See Fail, v. i.]
1. Miscarriage; failure; deficiency; fault; --
mostly superseded by failure or failing, except in the
phrase without fail. "His highness' fail of
2. Death; decease. [Obs.]
Fail (fāl) v. i. [imp. &
p. p. Failed (fāld); p. pr. & vb.
n. Failing.] [F. failir, fr. L.
fallere, falsum, to deceive, akin to E. fall.
See Fail, and cf. Fallacy, False, Fault.]
1. 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
As the waters fail from the sea.
Job xiv. 11.
Till Lionel's issue fails, his should not
2. To be affected with want; to come short;
to lack; to be deficient or unprovided; -- used with
If ever they fail of beauty, this failure is
not be attributed to their size. Berke.
3. To fall away; to become diminished; to
decline; to decay; to sink.
When earnestly they seek
Such proof, conclude they then begin to fail.
4. To deteriorate in respect to vigor,
activity, resources, etc.; to become weaker; as, a sick man
5. To perish; to die; -- used of a
Had the king in his last sickness
6. 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
7. To come short of a result or object aimed
at or desired ; to be baffled or frusrated.
Our envious foe hath failed.
8. To err in judgment; to be
Which ofttimes may succeed, so as perhaps
Shall grieve him, if I fail not.
9. 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.
Fail (?), v. t. 1.
To be wanting to ; to be insufficient for; to disappoint; to
There shall not fail thee a man on the
throne. 1 Kings ii. 4.
2. To miss of attaining; to lose.
Though that seat of earthly bliss be