fail


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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

1. An exclamation, perhaps of annoyance or frustration, when something has gone wrong. I called him Mark, but apparently his name is Steven. Ugh, fail! I tried to bake a cake for my sister's birthday, but I accidentally used salt instead of sugar. Fail.
2. noun A mistake or blunder. Something that has gone wrong. I called him Mark, but apparently his name is Steven! What a fail. I tried to bake a cake for my sister's birthday, but I accidentally used salt instead of sugar, and it was a big fail.

epic fail

An especially big or embarrassing blunder. I can't believe I called the CEO by the wrong name! What an epic fail. I tried to bake a cake for my sister's birthday, but I accidentally used salt instead of sugar. Epic fail.
See also: epic, fail

if all else fails

If all other options and plans are unsuccessful. The phrase is used to indicate what the last resort will be. If all else fails, we can always order pizza. A: "Will we have to do it manually?" B: "Only if all else fails."
See also: all, else, fail, if

words fail me

I'm unable to articulate or express myself because I'm too surprised or the emotion is too intense. I wish I could convey how much it means to me having you all here, but words fail me at the moment. And to think that you would risk your whole future by drinking and then getting behind the wheel of a car—well, words fail me!
See also: fail, word

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

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

without fail

absolutely predictably; with no exception or cause for doubt.
Fail as a noun in the sense of ‘failure or deficiency’ is now only found in this phrase.
See also: fail, without

if all else ˈfails

(spoken) used to introduce an idea or a suggestion that you could try if nothing else works: Let’s try phoning her at this number and then emailing her. If all else fails, we can always contact her parents.
See also: all, else, fail, if

without ˈfail

used for emphasizing that something always happens or must happen: She sends me a Christmas card every year without fail.You must be here by 8.30 without fail.
See also: fail, without

words ˈfail me

I cannot express how I feel (because I am too surprised, angry, etc.): Words fail me! How could you have been so stupid?
See also: fail, word

fail in

v.
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

v.
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 ?
15, 2005 to reimburse the participant for any substantiated medical care expenses incurred by the participant, or his or her spouse or dependents, will not fail to be excluded from income under Sec.
If a party fails to comply with a discovery order, the Board can review the discovery orders at the end of the proceeding or on an interlocutory basis under Rule 263.
Creating tangible financial incentives against being Too Big to Fail.
Storage capacity, then, is n minus m (n-m) in which any number of drives up to "m" can fail without loss of data integrity.
In principle, systemic risk also could develop if several smaller or regional banks were to fail.
When students fail math and we still allow it to count as a prerequisite, we compromise the degree of all those students who hired tutors, took time off work, lost sleep and still struggled, but passed.
A system made up of multiple components will fail if any element fails.
Many students and even parents fail to grasp this simple truth.
These numbers include both fails to deliver and their offsetting fails to receive, so that the number thus doubles the amount involved (i.
indicated she was just following her supervisor's instructions to fail the Sotos.
But if network connectivity or the eG management console should fail for any reason, active infrastructure monitoring is interrupted," Ramanathan said.
In this case, if a failover occurs during a backup job, the entire backup will fail and manual intervention will be needed.
High Availability refers to the notion that nodes within a cluster can automatically take over for nodes that fail.
As a result, the seller fails to deliver securities to the buyer when delivery is due, which is known as a 'failure to deliver' or 'fail.