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English definition of “fail”

fail

verb
 
 
/feɪl/
[I] to not succeeed in something you are trying to do: fail to do sth They failed to reach an agreement with the board members. fail in sth Last year the company failed in its bid to renew their contract. All their efforts seem to have failed. Some employees will not take risks because they're scared of failing.
[I] if a business fails, it is unsuccessful and cannot continue to operate: Over 3000 small businesses failed in the first quarter of the year. Is it better for the economy to let unsuccessful companies fail or to bail them out?
[I or T] to not pass an exam or test, or not reach a necessary standard: About half of all candidates taking the more advanced exams fail. The company repeatedly failed inspections by Health and Safety officials.
[I] if a machine or system fails, it stops working: If the system fails for any reason, the emergency back-up will kick in.
[I] formal to not do something that you should do: fail to do sth What can be done about clients who fail to pay their debts? → See also too big to fail
(Definition of fail from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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