fail verb Meaning in the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “fail” - Learner’s Dictionary

fail

verb     /feɪl/
NOT SUCCEED [I] B2 to not be successful: Dad's business failed after just three years. She keeps failing in her attempt to lose weight.Failing and doing badlyUnsuccessful (people and things)
fail to do sth B2 to not do what is necessary or expected: John failed to turn up for football practice yesterday.Failing and doing badly
EXAM [I, T] A2 to not pass a test or an exam, or to decide that someone has not passed: I'm worried about failing my driving test.Failing and doing badlyExams, tests and exercises
STOP WORKING [I] B2 to stop working normally, or to become weaker: Two of the plane's engines had failed. My eyesight's beginning to fail.Failing and doing badlyBecoming and making less strong
NOT HELPING [T] to stop being helpful or useful to someone when they need you: The government is failing the poor and unemployed.Failing and doing badly
I fail to see/understand used to show that you do not accept something: [+ question word] I fail to see why you cannot work on a Sunday.Refusing and rejecting
(Definition of fail verb from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More Learner's Dictionary definitions for “fail”

Word of the Day

carnival

(a special occasion or period of) public enjoyment and entertainment involving wearing unusual clothes, dancing, and eating and drinking, usually held in the streets of a city

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 

farecasting noun
farecasting noun
February 08, 2016
predicting the optimum date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app A handful of new and updated websites and apps are trying to perfect the art of what’s known as farecasting – predicting the best date to buy a ticket.

Read More