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Responsible for a problem, mistake, or other incident. The other driver was definitely at fault—I was just sitting at a red light when he rear-ended me! I know I was at fault, so I will apologize to Sara today.
to a fault
To an extreme to excessive degree; more than is usual or necessary. Jim is polite to a fault—it can actually be a little bit irritating sometimes. The police sergeant is honest to a fault, following every regulation and guideline without question.
to blame [for something]; serving as the cause of something bad. I was not at fault in the accident. You cannot blame me.
fault someone (for something)
to blame or criticize someone for something. I can't fault you for that. I would have done the same thing. He tended to fault himself for the failure of the project.
find fault (with someone or something)
to find things wrong with someone or something. We were unable to find fault with his arguments. Sally's father was always finding fault with her.
generous to a fault
Cliché too generous; overly generous. My favorite uncle is generous to a fault. Sally—always generous to a fault—gave away her lunch to a homeless man.
Responsible for a mistake, trouble, or failure; deserving blame. For example, At least three cars were involved in the accident, so it was hard to determine which driver was at fault , or He kept missing the target and wondered if the sight on his new rifle was at fault. In Britain this usage was formerly considered incorrect but is now acceptable; in America it has been widespread since the mid-1800s. Also see in the wrong.
Criticize, express dissatisfaction with, as in She was a difficult traveling companion, constantly finding fault with the hotel, meal service, and tour guides . [Mid-1500s]
to a fault
Excessively, extremely, as in He was generous to a fault. This phrase, always qualifying an adjective, has been so used since the mid-1700s. Indeed, Oliver Goldsmith had this precise usage in The Life of Richard Nash (1762).
to a fault
COMMON If someone has a good quality to a fault, they have more of this quality than is usual or necessary. She was generous to a fault and tried to see that we had everything we needed. He's honest to a fault, brave, dedicated, and fiercely proud of the New York Police Department.
— to a fault(of someone or something displaying a particular commendable quality) to an extent verging on excess.
1995 Bill Bryson Notes from a Small Island Anyway, that's the kind of place Bournemouth is—genteel to a fault and proud of it.
at ˈfaultresponsible for doing wrong, making a mistake, etc.; to be blamed: The inquiry will decide who was at fault over the loss of the funds. ♢ I don’t feel that I am at fault. After all, I didn’t know I was breaking a rule.
to a ˈfault(written) used to say that somebody has a lot, or even too much of a particular good quality: He was generous to a fault.
find ˈfault (with somebody/something)look for faults or mistakes in somebody/something, often so that you can criticize them/it: He’s always finding fault with the children, even when they are doing nothing wrong. ♢ I can find no fault with this essay; it’s the best I’ve ever read. OPPOSITE: sing somebody’s/something’s praises
1. Deserving of blame; guilty: admitted to being at fault.
2. Confused and puzzled.
To seek, find, and complain about faults; criticize: found fault with his speech.
to a fault
To an excessive degree: generous to a fault.