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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

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)

1. To not have high enough grades to pass a particular class. My parents got my report card and grounded me because I'm failing in two classes.
2. To not award a student a passing grade in a particular class. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "fail" and "in." I failed you in biology because you missed so many classes this semester.
3. To not be successful in an attempt to do something. So far, I've failed in my efforts to find an internship for the summer.
See also: fail

fail out

To have to leave a school or university because one does not have passing grades. One B won't kill you—it's not like you're going to fail out of college or something.
See also: fail, out

fail (someone) on (something)

To give someone a failing grade on a school assignment. You clearly put zero effort into this essay—that's why I failed you on it.
See also: fail, on

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
References in periodicals archive ?
July 21, 2009: Five offences of failing to ensure a child attends school.
Natalie Thomas, aged 23, of Violet Close, Bell Green, Coventry, failing to comply with a community order, community order extended by three months with supervision.
Those required to make periodic reports under Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Section 13 or 15(d), are now required to disclose in those reports the payment of (1) a penalty imposed for failing to disclose a listed transaction; (2) an understatement penalty resulting from a failure to disclose a listed or reportable transaction; and (3) a gross valuation misstatement penalty under Sec.
There's a reason why NCLB is causing so many more schools to be labeled as failing (some 26,000 schools, or one in four nationwide, failed state standards this year and face sanctions if they do so again next year).
Placide Mobeka, aged 38, of Wid-drington Road, Radford, Coventry, driving with an incorrect licence, failing to produce a licence, using a vehicle without insurance, failing to produce a certificate of insurance, using a vehicle without a test certificate, failing to produce a test certificate, fined pounds 480, banned from driving for 12 months under totting up provisions.
It is, in fact, based closely on a two-year-old federal program created in a compromise between the Clinton administration and House Republicans that funneled $360 million to help improve failing schools, but failed to provide any real choice for parents.
But there's a bigger problem with the Bush plan: The current focus on failing Title I schools ignores the grim reality that many schools that have not been designated as failures are still not the kinds of places that most parents want to send their children.
Mpofu Sikhanyisiwe, aged 34, of The Cornfield, Stoke Aldermoor, Coventry, driving with an incorrect licence, using a vehicle without insurance, failing to produce a certificate of insurance, using a vehicle without a test certificate, failing to produce a test certificate, fined pounds 350, licence endorsed.
Penalty for failing to maintain investor lists: Prior to the ACJA, Sec.
If reliability figures are available for each component then the probability of the unit failing in a given period, can be computed as above.
My predecessor had been forced to resign after failing nearly half his students.
Daren Ian Paul Kelly, aged 32, of Lincoln Street, Foleshill, Coventry, two counts of failing to comply with a community rehabilitation order, fined pounds 20.