failure(redirected from failures)
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Related to failures: fails
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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.
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!
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."
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.
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!
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!
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."
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.
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.