Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “fault”

fault

noun (MISTAKE)    /fɒlt/ US  /fɑːlt/
B1 [U] a mistake, especially something for which you are to blame: It's not my fault she didn't come! She believes it was the doctor's fault that Peter died. The fault was/lay with the organizers, who failed to make the necessary arrangements for dealing with so many people. Through no fault of his own, he spent a week locked up in jail.Faults and mistakes B2 [C] a weakness in a person's character: He has many faults, but dishonesty isn't one of them.Faults and mistakes B2 [C] a broken part or weakness in a machine or system: The car has a serious design fault. I think it's got an electrical fault. For all its faults, our transport system is still better than that in many other countries.Faults and mistakes [C] (in tennis and some other games) a mistake made by a player who is beginning a game by hitting the ballTennis and racket sportsFaults and mistakes be at fault B2 to have done something wrong: Her doctor was at fault for/in not sending her straight to a specialist.Making mistakes find fault with sb/sth C2 to criticize someone or something, especially without good reasons: He's always finding fault with my work.Disapproving and criticizingDamaging reputation
(Definition of fault noun (MISTAKE) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of fault

Definitions of “fault” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

friendship

a situation in which two people are friends

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More