failure Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “failure” in the English Dictionary

"failure" in British English

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failurenoun

uk   /ˈfeɪ.ljər/  us   /ˈfeɪ.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 whole project was doomed to failure right from the start (= it could never have succeeded).

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  • 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 to return her phone call made her realize that something was wrong. Failure to keep the chemical at the right temperature could lead to an explosion.

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(Definition of failure from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"failure" in American English

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failurenoun

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

[C/U] a lack of success in doing something: [U] Their attempt to sail across 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 phone call 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 computer system was a complete failure (= It did not work).
(Definition of failure from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"failure" in Business English

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failurenoun

uk   us   /ˈfeɪljər/
[C or U] a situation in which a company has been unsuccessful and has to stop operating: 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 system stops working: 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 reckless lending led directly to the financial crisis.
(Definition of failure from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“failure” in Business English

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