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fail to see

To be incapable of understanding or unwilling to accept something. Mary, I fail to see what your fear of spiders has to do with your unwillingness to go on this trip. Congressman, I fail to see how your opponent, as you claim, is in any way responsible for the economic slump in your state.
See also: fail, see

fall at the first hurdle

To fail to accomplish some task or goal at the very beginning of the attempt. John had his business plan all laid out, but he fell at the first hurdle when the bank refused to grant him a loan.
See also: fall, first, hurdle

fall at the final hurdle

To fail to accomplish some task or goal at the very end of the attempt. Negotiations between the two warring countries fell at the final hurdle due to disagreements over cross-border taxation.
See also: fall, final, hurdle

fall at the last hurdle

To fail to accomplish some task or goal at the very end of the attempt. Negotiations between the two warring countries fell at the last hurdle due to disagreements over cross-border taxation.
See also: fall, hurdle, last

red-face test

A hypothetical test meant to measure whether or not some question or thing provokes discernible embarrassment, discomfiture, or displeasure in a person. The old red-face test is a simple but subtle way of telling which employees are the most honest and work the hardest. Well, my proposal didn't pass the red-face test with the boss. I guess we can kiss that idea goodbye.
See also: test

fail the smell test

To be morally questionable, unacceptable, or untrustworthy. The new pro-drilling bill that's being put through Congress certainly fails the smell test, and many are suspicious that Big Oil has been responsible for its inception.
See also: fail, smell, test

day in, day out, every day without fail

A phrase used to describe something that happens routinely or regularly. Day in, day out, every day without fail, I pass that same woman walking her dog. My mom started driving us to school because we would miss the bus day in, day out, every day without fail.
See also: every, fail, without

fail at life

slang To fail in a way that is exaggeratedly likened to one's entire life being a failure. I can't believe I blew my audition! Ugh, I fail at life. I overheard you struggling to ask Kim to the prom, and, yeah, you fail at life, dude.
See also: fail, life

fail of success

To not reach a goal or accomplishment. I know you worked hard on the fundraiser, so I'm really sorry to hear that you failed of success. After not making the team last year, I'm really hoping I don't fail of success this time around.
See also: fail, of, success

fail in something

to have not earned passing or satisfactory grades in some school subject. George is failing in geometry. I hope I do not fail in math.
See also: fail

fail someone on something

to give someone an unsatisfactory grade on an assignment or test. She failed us all on the math assignment. The teacher failed half the class on the assignment.
See also: fail, on

something never fails

a particular thing always works. My old folk remedy for hiccups never fails.
See also: fail, never

without fail

for certain; absolutely. I'll be there at noon without fail. The plane leaves on time every day without fail.
See also: fail, without

if all else fails

if nothing succeeds Miki spoke a little English, I used a lot of hand signals, and if all else failed, we would look in a phrase book.
See also: all, else, fail, if

without fail

certain to happen Sarah sends me a card on my birthday without fail.
See also: fail, without

if all else fails

if nothing succeeds If all else fails, we can always spend the weekend at home. You should try to discuss this with your employer, but if all else fails, you need to speak to a lawyer.
See also: all, else, fail, if

if all else fails

if you decide that you will do something if all else fails, you decide that that is what you will do if none of your ideas or plans succeed Well, if all else fails you'll just have to get a part-time job to earn a bit of extra money.
See also: all, else, fail, if

without fail

1. if something happens without fail, it always happens Every Tuesday afternoon, without fail, Helga went to visit her father.
2. something that you say in order to emphasize that something will be done or will happen 'You will meet me at the airport, won't you?' 'Don't worry, I'll be there without fail.'
See also: fail, without

Words fail me!

something that you say when you are so surprised or shocked by something that you do not know what to say about it 'So what do you think about that purple outfit Olive's wearing?' 'Words fail me!'
See mark my words, have to eat words, mince words
See also: fail, Word

without fail

For certain, as in That check will arrive tomorrow morning without fail. This idiom today is used mainly to strengthen a statement. [Early 1700s]
See also: fail, without

words fail me

I can't put my thoughts or feelings into words, especially because of surprise or shock, as in When she showed up at the wedding with all three ex-husbands-well, words fail me. [Second half of 1900s]
See also: fail, word

fail in

1. To fail to achieve some goal or effort: I am failing in all of my attempts to win the contest.
2. To achieve unsatisfactory grades in an academic subject: Because I am failing in math, I am seeing a tutor.
3. To give someone an unsatisfactory grade in an academic subject: My teacher failed me in algebra despite my hard work.
See also: fail

fail out

To be forced to leave an academic institution because of unsatisfactory grades: My cousin is failing out of law school.
See also: fail, out

without fail

With no chance of failure: Be here at noon without fail.
See also: fail, without
References in periodicals archive ?
In this situation, if a controller fails, all I/O activity is transferred to the alternative controller, and data processing continues uninterrupted.
98-55 if (1) a corporation fails to qualify as an S corporation on the first day that S status was desired solely because the S election was not timely filed, (2) the due date (excluding extensions) for the first year the corporation intended to be an S corporation has not passed and (3) the corporation has reasonable cause for the failure to timely file the S election.
If any one drive fails, the failed drive can be replaced and the missing data can be reconstructed on the new drive from the data remaining on the other drives.
They provide a fail-over capability in case one fails.
If the heartbeat fails to appear in some configurable time period, then the applications (and other resources such as the node's virtual IP address) are taken over by the back-up node.
Advantage runs the test, evaluates the device's response to the test, indicates a pass/fail status, saves the trace to a user-defined location, and provides specific pointers to the trace if the device fails a test requirement.
If any element in path 0 fails (HBA 0, Switch 0, Controller 0, or any of the links interconnecting them), Volume A is physically accessible using the path 1.
If any provider, link or device fails, PowerLink-Iplus(TM) simply goes around the problem link.
Each method protects your data even if an entire RAID array fails.
One element in the I/O path that obviously jeopardizes data integrity if it fails is the RAID controller.
If Loop A fails, the attached disks can be accessed over Loop B.
This means that when an Exchange server fails and the other clustered server takes over, users Internet connections to the Web and email are automatically restored, including remote or branch office connections.
The new product allows two fully functioning servers to be connected with industry-standard hardware so that if either server fails the surviving server automatically takes over with a complete copy of all data from both servers.
Yet, that protection fails them more often than they and their patients realize, according to studies released Thursday.
When a server fails, the signal is automatically diverted to the active server, thus keeping the network up and running.