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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun failure:


Comparison of usage frequency between the noun failure and its most common antonym:

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Definition of the noun failure

What does failure mean as a name of something?

Failure is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

noun - plural: failures

  1. an act that fails
  2. an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose
  3. lack of success
    • examples: he felt that his entire life had been a failure | that year there was a crop failure
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • antonym: success
    • more generic words: circumstances / destiny / fate / fortune / lot / luck / portion = your overall circumstances or condition in life
    • more specific terms:
      • bankruptcy = a state of complete lack of some abstract property
      • bank failure = the inability of a bank to meet its credit obligations
      • crop failure = the failure of crops to produce a marketable surplus
      • dead duck = something doomed to failure
  4. a person with a record of failing; someone who loses consistently
  5. an unexpected omission
    • examples: he resented my failure to return his call | the mechanic's failure to check the brakes
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • more generic words: omission / skip = a mistake resulting from neglect
    • more specific terms:
      • disappointment / dashing hopes = an act (or failure to act) that disappoints someone
      • breach = a failure to perform some promised act or obligation
      • copout = a failure to face some difficulty squarely
  6. inability to discharge all your debts as they come due
    • example: fraudulent loans led to the failure of many banks
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • synonym of failure: bankruptcy
    • more generic word: insolvency = the lack of financial resources
  7. loss of ability to function normally
    • example: kidney failure
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • more generic words: disorder / upset = a physical condition in which there is a disturbance of normal functioning
    • more specific terms:

Alternative definition of the noun failure


  1. State or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, opposite of success.
  2. An object, person or endeavour in a state of failure or incapable of success.
  3. Termination of the ability of an item to perform its required function, breakdown.

Specialised definition of the noun failure

Glossary of management / IT service management / availability management

the termination of the ability of a function unit to perform its required function

Glossary of sports

a lack of success in or at something (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)


  1. "Failure" is the debut album of The Posies. It was first released independently in 1988 on cassette only. In 1989 it was reissued on cassette, LP and CD in 1989 on PopLlama Records. Due to playing time restrictions imposed by the LP manufacturer the band was forced to drop one song from the PopLlama LP edition. The CD version had no time restrictions and includes the same content as the cassette.
  2. "Failure" is a song by the alternative metal band Sevendust from their fifth studio album Next and was released as second single in 2006.
  3. "Failure" is the seventh album by avant-garde band King Missile, and the band's first in its incarnation as "King Missile III." It was released on September 15, 1998.
  4. "Failure" is Assemblage 23's second album, released through Gashed! and, later, Metropolis Records in 2001. The album contains many energetic EBM songs led by emotionally charged lyrics. Most notably from this album came the single "Disappoint," released just before Metropolis' re-release of Failure.
  5. "Failure" is a musical album of Outbreak.
    • released on (8 years ago)
  6. "Failure" is a composition.
  7. "Failure" is a cataloged instance, composition.
  8. "Failure" is a musical single of Kings of Convenience.
    • released on (14 years ago)
  9. "Failure" is a musical single of Skinny.
    • released on (16 years ago)
  10. "Failure" is a composition.
  11. "Failure" is a musical album of Drip of Lies.
    • released in
  12. "Failure" is a musical album of Unicycle Loves You.
    • released on


"Failure" is an award-winning collection of poetry by American poet Philip Shultz. Failure, along with Time and Materials by poet Robert Hass, was awarded the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.


Failure is the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success. Product failure ranges from failure to sell the product to fracture of the product, in the worst cases leading to personal injury, the province of forensic engineering.

Phrases with Failure

Phrases starting with the word Failure:

  1. Failure rate
  2. Failure to thrive

Phrases ending with the word Failure:

  1. bank failure
  2. crop failure
  3. brake failure
  4. heart failure
  5. power failure
  6. renal failure
  7. engine failure
  8. Ground Failure
  9. kidney failure
  10. coronary failure
  11. equipment failure
  12. Structural failure
  13. acute renal failure
  14. circulatory failure
  15. acute kidney failure
  16. chronic renal failure
  17. chronic kidney failure
  18. Single point of failure

View more phrases with the word Failure in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Failure

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewCongestive Heart Failure (2007)

by Jeffrey D. Hosenpud, Barry H. Greenberg

A working definition that might satisfy both constituencies is that chronic heart failure is a syndrome in which the inability of the heart to provide adequate amounts of oxygenated blood to vital tissue at normal levels of ventricular filling pressure ...

Google previewClinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics (2011)

by Roger Walker

Key points • Heart failure is a common condition that affects the quality of life causing fatigue, breathlessness and oedema. It often has a poor prognosis. • Heart failure is a maladaptive condition with haemodynamic and neurohormonal ...

Google previewAcute Heart Failure (2009)

by Alexandre Mebazaa, Mihai Gheorghiade, Faiez Zannad, Joseph E. Parrillo

Furthermore, heart failure is the most frequently encountered postoperative cardiac complication of noncardiac surgery (1,2).

decompensated heart failure is a major clinical marker, and prior heart failure is an intermediate clinical marker for ...

Google previewInternal Medicine (2012)

An Intensive Review by Ajay K. Singh, Joseph Loscalzo

eart failure is a complex clinical syndrome occur- ring in patients with an abnormality of cardiac structure or function that impairs the ability of the heart to fill with or eject...

Congestive heart failure is the end stage for many cardiac diseases.

Google previewCardiovascular Pharmacotherapy (2010)

A Point-of-Care Guide by Michael A. Crouch

While mortality rates associated with this disease have decreased in recent years , heart failure is a progressive disorder leading to...

Google previewCardiac Biomarkers (2012)

Expert Advice for Clinicians by Alan S Maisel

Yang Xue, Navaid Iqbal, Arrash Fard, Alan S Maisel INTRODUCTION Heart failure is a serious healthcare challenge with 5.8 million heart failure patients in the United States alone.1 Heart failure is the leading diagnosis among hospitalized ...

Google previewAchars Textbook Of Pediatrics (4Th Edn)

by Swarna Rekha Bhat (ed.)

Prerenal failure is the most common form of ARF in children. It is an oliguric state resulting from diminished...

Intrinsic renal failure is a decrease in renal function following acute renal parenchymal insult. This may occur in various types of ...

Google previewThe Genius is Inside. (2010)

A high performance step-by-step strategy guide for small and medium size companies. by Michel David

Failure is the threshold of knowledge. Since new knowledge is that by which we progress,

Google previewFault-Diagnosis Systems (2006)

An Introduction from Fault Detection to Fault Tolerance by Rolf Isermann

Failure: “A failure is a permanent interruption of a system's ability to perform a required function under specified...

Google previewEssence of Creativity (1990)

A Guide to Tackling Difficult Problems by Steven Kim

A mixed failure is a weak form that is part victory and part defeat. This type of result serves to modify the germinating...

The passive failure refers to the lack of results, whether positive or negative. In the manufacturing science example, ...

Google previewAcccn's Critical Care Nursing (2016)

by Leanne Aitken, Andrea Marshall, Wendy Chaboyer

Heart failure is a complex clinical condition that is characterised by an underlying structural abnormality or dysfunction that...

Internationally, heart failure is the most common cause of hospitalisation in patients aged over 70 years.59...

Google previewThyroid and Heart Failure (2009)

From Pathophysiology to Clinics by Giorgio Iervasi, Alessandro Pingitore

Heart failure is a clinical condition characterized by reduced cardiac function and impairment of the capacity of the heart to...

Google previewRules of Thumb for Maintenance and Reliability Engineers (2011)

by Ricky Smith, R. Keith Mobley

Failure is an unpleasant word, and we often use substitute words such as anomaly, defect, discrepancy, irregularity, etc.,

Google previewAdvances in Water Resources Engineering (2014)

by Chih Ted Yang, Lawrence K Wang

Rotational failure is a deep-seated movement of material both downward and outward along a curved slip surface. After the failure, the...

failure is the sliding and forward toppling of a deep-seated mass into the stream. It is also associated with ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Geomorphology (2013)

by Andrew Goudie, Visiting Professor and Special Adviser to the Principal Andrew Goudie

Bulging Erosion Before After Desiccation Before After Figure 10 Characteristics of bank failure (from Hey et al. 1991...

Rotational failure with weak zone • failure surface dictated by position of weak zone • see also comments for type (d) (f) ...

Google previewDictionary of Environmental Economics (2014)

by Renat Perelet, Anil Markandya, Pamela Mason, Tim Taylor

removing environmentally harmful subsidies, that is, by reducing government failure. MBIs can be used to achieve the Pareto-efficient level of emissions. Figure 10 shows that charges and subsidies can be used to yield the efficient level of ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Obesity (2008)

by Kathleen Keller

Failure of the kidney can affect one or all of these functions, and may occur suddenly or gradually. Physicians commonly use creatinine, a blood test, to estimate the kidney's function. The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) reflects how much fluid ...

Google previewMosby's Dental Dictionary (2007)

by Elsevier, Mosby

Table N-1 Terminology for implant failure. APPENDIX N ImplantProsthetics Platform Collar Body Apex Fig. N-1. Implant body. The portion of the dental implant designed to be placed into the bone to anchor prosthetic components. The implant ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Disasters (2007)

Environmental Catastrophes and Human Tragedies by Angus Macleod Gunn

Francis Dam failure March 12, 1928 Part of the Los Angeles aqueduct system This dam, part of the Los Angeles aqueduct system, was constructed on a fault The dam failure caused the deaths of five hundred and it also changed the course ...

Google previewDream Dictionary (2007)

An A-to-Z Guide to Understanding Your Unconscious Mind by Tony Crisp

Car torn apart or dismantled: stress; failure to care for one's body; self-destructive attitudes. Collision: possible conflict of opinions with another person; careless behavior leading to problem in relationship; painful encounter; careless driving in ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Failure

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Photos about Failure

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Broken and Glowing light bulb comparison concept, problem and solution, failure and success, learning from mistakeSmall photo of three worried coworkers different sexes experiencing business failure in firm officeSmall photo of Photo of light beige wooden bricks arranged in a row like a domino row, with some of the bricks lying on the floor. Construction concept. Failure concept.Small photo of Stop Domino Effect - Hand Prevents FailureSmall photo of Failure is success in progress - inspirational text on a slate blackboard with a white chalk and a stack of books against rustic wooden tableSmall photo of Overcome fear of failure . Mixed mediaSmall photo of Hand of pulling wood block fail on building tower at home and drape change, choice business risking dangerous project plan failure construction,Selective block wooden More...

Video language resources about Failure

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View more videos about The Failure, heart failure, Engine Failure, and Ground Failure.

See also the pronunciation examples of Failure!

Sign language

[loud] failure to yield - sign language

Northbound on Lyndale Avenue at 27th Street, a silver sedan failed to yield right-of-way while crossing Lyndale.

Quotes about Failure

Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. (Denis Watley)
more quotes about failure...

Scrabble value of F4A1I1L1U1R1E1

The value of this 7-letter word is 10 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of FAILURE

What do you get if you rearrange the letters?

See also the blanagrams of Failure!

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