English dictionary



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English noun: failure

1. failure (act) an act that fails


SamplesHis failure to pass the test.


Broader (hypernym)nonaccomplishment, nonachievement


Narrower (hyponym)backsliding, default, error, failing, flunk, lapse, lapsing, loss, misplay, naught, nonconformance, nonconformity, nonpayment, nonremittal, out, relapse, relapsing, reversion, reverting

2. failure (event) an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose


SamplesThe surprise party was a complete failure.


Broader (hypernym)happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent


Narrower (hyponym)abortion, breakdown, bust, defeat, downfall, equipment failure, fizzle, flame-out, flop, licking, malformation, malfunction, miscarriage, miscreation, misfire, miss, ruin, ruination


Antonymssuccess

3. failure (state) lack of success


SamplesHe felt that his entire life had been a failure.
That year there was a crop failure.


Broader (hypernym)circumstances, destiny, fate, fortune, lot, luck, portion


Narrower (hyponym)bank failure, bankruptcy, crop failure, dead duck


Antonymssuccess

4. failure (person) a person with a record of failing; someone who loses consistently


Synonymsloser, nonstarter, unsuccessful person


Broader (hypernym)unfortunate, unfortunate person


Narrower (hyponym)bankrupt, dud, flash in the pan, flop, insolvent, underdog, washout


Antonymsachiever, succeeder, winner, success

5. failure (act) an unexpected omission


SamplesHe resented my failure to return his call.
The mechanic's failure to check the brakes.


Broader (hypernym)omission, skip


Narrower (hyponym)breach, copout, dashing hopes, disappointment

6. failure (state) inability to discharge all your debts as they come due


SamplesThe company had to declare bankruptcy.
Fraudulent loans led to the failure of many banks.


Synonymsbankruptcy


Broader (hypernym)insolvency

7. failure (state) loss of ability to function normally


SamplesKidney failure.


Broader (hypernym)disorder, upset


Narrower (hyponym)coronary failure, heart failure, kidney failure, renal failure









Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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