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abysmal failure

Failure that is total and extreme in measure or implication. The business was an abysmal failure, and everyone was out of a job within a month. Well, I forgot everything I had rehearsed and just stood on stage sweating, so you could say my campaign speech was an abysmal failure! The whole investigation ended up being an abysmal failure once the judge ruled our evidence was inadmissible in court.
See also: failure

destined for (something)

Likely to do, receive, or become something in the future. We knew that Sean was destined for greatness the moment he stepped on the stage in his first play. If you didn't study for your exam, then you are destined for failure.
See also: destine, for

failure teaches success

proverb Failure gives one the opportunity to learn and improve in a positive way. I know you're bummed that the experiment didn't work, but let's try again. Failure teaches success after all, and now we know what not to do. I'm a big believer that failure teaches success, so we can't give up now!
See also: failure, success, teach

failure to launch

A psychological difficulty or inability of a young person to transition successfully into being an independent, self-reliant adult. Often used in the phrase "failure to launch syndrome." We create a bit of a paradox for our kids. We want to do everything we can to ensure they are well provided for and have happy lives, but this level of pampering often leads to a failure to launch when they are old enough to leave the house and set off on their own. A: "Our daughter just doesn't want to do anything for herself. She doesn't want to go to college, won't look for a job, and has shown no interest in moving out of our house." B: "It sounds like classic failure to launch syndrome to me."
See also: failure, launch, to

failure to thrive

A medical term used to describe an infant or young child who has experienced delays in physical growth, for a variety of possible reasons. I'm a bit concerned about little Howie's failure to thrive, so I want you to bring him back the office next week for further examination.
See also: failure, thrive, to

give (one) heart failure

To shock, frighten, or upset someone suddenly and to an extreme degree. Often used with "nearly," "almost," or some similar modifier. Adrian almost gave his parents heart failure when he told them he was dropping out of college. You about gave me heart failure, sneaking up on me like that!
See also: failure, give, heart

have heart failure

To be shocked, frightened, or upset suddenly and to an extreme degree. Often used with "nearly," "almost," or some similar modifier. Adrian's parents almost had heart failure when he told them he was dropping out of college. I just about had heart failure when you snuck up on me like that!
See also: failure, have, heart

success has many fathers, failure is an orphan

People are quick to associate themselves with successful ventures and distance themselves from failures. A: "All the people who were so excited about this project in the beginning now act like they've never even heard of it." B: "Well, success has many fathers, failure is an orphan."
See also: an, failure, many, success
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

give someone heart failure

Frighten or startle someone very much, as in You nearly gave me heart failure when you told me you were quitting. It is also put as have heart failure, meaning "be frightened or startled," as in I just about had heart failure when I heard about her accident. These hyperbolic terms allude to the life-threatening physical condition in which the heart fails to pump blood at an adequate rate or stops altogether. Also see heart misses a beat.
See also: failure, give, heart, someone
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Failures can occur throughout the product lifecycle, from shortly after production of an initial component/product launch through field failures of a mature product.
Surgical failure of a midurethral sling (MUS) is defined as a postoperative patient experiencing incontinence the same or worse than it was preoperatively.
Despite the slowing pace, we continue to see a significant number of banks at high risk of failure, and expect failures to continue for an extended period of time.
Is your teenager afraid of failure? Does he avoid taking chances because he doesn't believe he will succeed?
The contribution of failures on the component level to the system failure is usually represented by means of fault tree diagrams (Ronti et al.
This text on failure analysis focuses on steel failures arising during thermal processes such as forging, casting, heat treatment, welding, et cetera.
For the most part, capital funding decisions are being made using a simple but potentially inaccurate forecasting method of taking the average of asset failures over a certain period of time.
Latest figures from Experian, the global information services company, shows there were 16,591 UK business failures in the first nine months of 2008, representing a 22% increase compared to the same period in 2007.
BUSINESS failures in the North East have increased by 42.6% in the first nine months of the year - twice the rate seen across the UK.
"Practical Plant Failure Analysis: A Guide To Understanding Machinery Deterioration And Improving Equipment Reliability" provides students of mechanical engineering with an interdisciplinary approach to the concept that component failures result from a combination of factors that involve materials science, mechanics, thermodynamics, corrosion, and tribology.
WALES saw the biggest percentage drop in business failures of any UK region in the first three months of the year.
Layers that are too thick are often associated with cohesive failures of that layer; whereas layers that are too thin have more variable failures.
Confessing their failures to successful strangers, begging-letter writers "asked to be judged as complex characters rather than as superficial commodities" (p.