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

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

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”

cn u txt?
cn u txt?
by ,
June 28, 2016
by Colin McIntosh The advent of social media has seen a huge increase in the use of informal abbreviations, many recently added to the Cambridge Dictionary. We have always had abbreviations, of course. Well-known examples include IOU (for “I owe you”), used to give an informal written guarantee that you will pay back a sum of

Read More 

Word of the Day

be as thick as thieves

to be very close friends and share secrets, etc.

Word of the Day

creeping obesity noun
creeping obesity noun
June 27, 2016
obesity which results from incremental weight gain over a number of years More than just a holiday glow: Experts reveal taking a vacation can actually save your LIFE (but there is still a risk of ‘creeping obesity’)

Read More