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


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


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.


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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