fail

I
(Roget's IV) v.
1. [To be unsuccessful]
Syn. miscarry, fall short, miss, slip, lose, make nothing of, come to naught, come to nothing, falter, flounder, blunder, break down, break, run aground, founder, misfire, come to grief, get into trouble, lose ground, abort, neglect, backslide, not pass, be demoted, lose status, come down, fall flat, fall through, go amiss, go astray, fall down, get left, be found lacking, be found wanting, be deficient, be inadequate, go down, go under, lose one's labor, hit a slump, miss an opportunity, not measure up, not measure up to expectation, not pass muster, lose out, give out, not have it in one, be all over with, come short of, break one's word, not make the grade, not make it, miss the mark, lose control, fall from one's high estate, go wrong, flop*, bomb*, flunk*, fall down on the job*, miss the boat*, bite the dust*, blow the chance*, fizzle out*, go belly up*, hit rock bottom*, crap out*, go down the tubes*, go down swinging*, end in smoke*, go up in smoke*, not get to first base*, touch bottom*, lay an egg*, draw a blank*, not come off*, come a cropper*, not cut the mustard*, conk out*, peter out*, flunk out*, strike out*, wash out*, fold up*, go on the rocks*, die on the vine*, go over like a lead balloon*.
Ant. succeed, win*, triumph.
2. [To disappoint]
Syn. let down, desert, leave, displease; see abandon 2 , disappoint .
3. [To grow less]
Syn. decline, lessen, worsen, sink; see decay .
4. [To become insolvent]
Syn. go bankrupt, default, be in arrears, overdraw, go out of business, go into receivership, go under, default on payment, dishonor, repudiate, be ruined, collapse, go broke*, fold*, go to the wall*, throw in the sponge*, be unable to make ends meet*, drown in red ink*, crash*, go belly up*, go down the tubes*, lose one's shirt*, go on the rocks*, bust*.
Ant. prosper*, gain, thrive.
5. [To dismiss for failure]
Syn. send home, dismiss, suspend, put on probation, flunk*, send down*.
without fail,
Syn. certainly, constantly, Dependably, reliably; see regularly 1 , 2 , surely , yes .
II
(Roget's 3 Superthesaurus) v.
1. not succeed *blow it, *fall short, slip up, lose, go wrong, flop, *go down in flames, *choke, fizzle, *take a dive, go awry, miss, *bomb, *fall flat on one's face, flunk, *lay an egg, run aground, *strike out, *come a cropper.
2. weaken deteriorate, dwindle, die away, wane, *collapse of one's own weight, sink, fade, *be on one's last legs, *circle the drain, decline, sicken.
3. default back out, neglect, forsake, renege, let down, desert, slight, disregard, *abort, faulter, miscarry, ignore.
4. go bankrupt crash, close, *lose one's shirt, *go belly up, *file for chapter eleven, *go broke, fold, go out of business, *drown in a sea of red ink.
ANT.: 1. succeed, win, achieve, triumph. 2. grow stronger, flourish, thrive. 3. carry out, follow through. 4. flourish, thrive, profit
III
(Roget's Thesaurus II) verb 1. To prove deficient or insufficient: give out, run out. Idioms: fall short, run dry, run short. See EXCESS. 2. To be unsuccessful: choke, fall through. Informal: fall down, flop. Slang: bomb. Idioms: fail of success, fall short. See THRIVE. 3. To receive less than a passing grade: Informal: flunk. See THRIVE. 4. To not do (something necessary): default, neglect, omit. See DO. 5. To lose strength or power: decline, degenerate, deteriorate, fade, flag2, languish, sink, wane, waste (away), weaken. Informal: fizzle (out). Idioms: go downhill, hit the skids. See STRONG, INCREASE. 6. To cease functioning properly: break down, give out. Slang: conk out. See THRIVE. 7. To make or become unusable or inoperative: break, ruin. Slang: bust. See HELP. 8. To undergo sudden financial failure: break, bust, collapse, crash, go under. Informal: fold. Idioms: go belly up, go bust, go on the rocks, go to the wall. See MONEY.

English dictionary for students. 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • fail — fail·ing·ly; fail; fail·ure; jeo·fail; un·fail·ing; un·fail·ing·ly; un·fail·ing·ness; …   English syllables

  • Fail — 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 issue. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Death; decease.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fail — [fāl] vi. [ME failen < OFr faillir, to fail, miss < L fallere, to deceive, disappoint < IE base * ĝhwel , to bend, deviate > Sans hválati, (he) loses the way, errs, Gr phēloein, to deceive] 1. to be lacking or insufficient; fall short …   English World dictionary

  • FAIL (N. du) — FAIL NOËL DU, seigneur de La Hérissaye (1520 1591) Magistrat breton, conseiller au parlement de Bretagne après des études qui lui ont fait faire un traditionnel tour de France des universités: Poitiers, Angers, Bourges et Avignon. Après avoir… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Fail — Fail, v. t. 1. To be wanting to; to be insufficient for; to disappoint; to desert. [1913 Webster] There shall not fail thee a man on the throne. 1 Kings ii. 4. [1913 Webster] 2. To miss of attaining; to lose. [R.] [1913 Webster] Though that seat… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fail — early 13c., from O.Fr. falir (11c., Mod.Fr. faillir) be lacking, miss, not succeed, from V.L. *fallire, from L. fallere to trip, cause to fall; figuratively to deceive, trick, dupe, cheat, elude; fail, be lacking or defective. Related: Failed;… …   Etymology dictionary

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  • fail — ► VERB 1) be unsuccessful in an undertaking. 2) be unable to meet the standards set by (a test). 3) judge (a candidate in an examination or test) not to have passed. 4) neglect to do. 5) disappoint expectations: chaos has failed to materialize.… …   English terms dictionary

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