failure Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “failure” in the English Dictionary

"failure" in British English

See all translations

failurenoun

uk   /ˈfeɪ.ljər/  us   /-ljɚ/
  • failure noun (NO SUCCESS)

B2 [C or U] the ​fact of someone or something not ​succeeding: The ​meeting was a complete/​total failure. I'm a ​bit of a failure at making (= I cannot make)cakes. I feel such a failure (= so ​unsuccessful). Their ​attempt to ​climb Everest ended in failure. The ​wholeproject was doomed to failure ​right from the ​start (= it could never have ​succeeded).

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • failure noun (NOT DO)

B2 [U + to infinitive] the ​fact of not doing something that you must do or are ​expected to do: His failure toreturn her ​phonecall made her ​realize that something was ​wrong. Failure tokeep the ​chemical at the ​righttemperature could ​lead to an ​explosion.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • failure noun (STOP)

B2 [C or U] the ​fact of something not ​working, or ​stoppingworking as well as it should: He ​died of heart/​liver failure. The ​accident was ​caused by the failure of the reactor's ​coolingsystem. The ​number of business failures ​rosesteeply last ​year. After three crop failures in a ​row, the ​peoplefacestarvation.
(Definition of failure from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"failure" in American English

See all translations

failurenoun

 us   /ˈfeɪl·jər/
  • failure noun (LACK OF SUCCESS)

[C/U] a ​lack of ​success in doing something: [U] Their ​attempt to ​sailacross the Atlantic Ocean ​ended in failure. [C] He was a failure as a ​businessman.
  • failure noun (SOMETHING NOT DONE)

[U] the ​fact of not doing something you should have done: [+ to infinitive] His failure to ​return her ​phonecall told her that something was ​wrong.
  • failure noun (SOMETHING NOT WORKING)

[C/U] the ​fact of something not ​working as it should: [U] He ​died of ​heart failure. [C] The new ​computersystem was a ​complete failure (= It did not ​work).
(Definition of failure from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"failure" in Business English

See all translations

failurenoun

uk   us   /ˈfeɪljər/
[C or U] a ​situation in which a ​company has been unsuccessful and has to ​stopoperating: The ​number and seriousness of the ​bank failures took ​economists by surprise. We're ​finally seeing a ​slowdown in the ​rate of business failures.
[U] lack of ​success in ​trying to do something: If you're too scared of failure, you'll never ​try to ​achieve anything.
[U] a ​situation in which a ​machine or ​systemstopsworking: The cause of the ​crash is now ​thought to be ​engine failure.
[C] someone or something that is not ​successful: He always ​thought of himself as a failure.
failure to do sth a ​situation in which someone does not do something they should do or are expected to do: The ​banks' failure to ​regulate more ​recklesslendingled directly to the ​financialcrisis.
(Definition of failure from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of failure?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“failure” in Business English

Word of the Day

new wave

people who are doing activities in a new and different way

Word of the Day

Chest pains and palpitations: talking about illness (2)
Chest pains and palpitations: talking about illness (2)
by Liz Walter,
February 03, 2016
My previous post (My leg hurts: Talking about illness (1)) presented some general vocabulary to use at the doctor’s. This one looks at some more specific areas of illness and explains some useful words and phrases that you may need to use or understand on a visit to the doctor’s. There are several

Read More 

awesomesauce noun
awesomesauce noun
February 01, 2016
slang the state of being extremely good or enjoyable or something or someone that is extremely good or enjoyable Recovering from the awesomesauce of another fab #Vidcon!!

Read More