Meaning of FAILURE in English
fail ‧ ure S3 W2 /ˈfeɪljə $ -ər/ BrE AmE noun
[ Word Family: noun : ↑ fail , ↑ failure , ↑ failing ; adjective : ↑ failed , ↑ unfailing ; verb : ↑ fail ; adverb : unfaillingly]
1 . LACK OF SUCCESS [uncountable and countable] a lack of success in achieving or doing something OPP success :
Successful people often aren’t very good at dealing with failure.
failure to do something
the conference’s failure to reach an agreement
2 . UNSUCCESSFUL PERSON/THING [countable] someone or something that is not successful OPP success :
I always felt a bit of a failure at school.
3 . failure to do something an act of not doing something which should be done or which people expect you to do:
Failure to produce proof of identity could result in prosecution.
4 . BUSINESS [uncountable and countable] a situation in which a business has to close because of a lack of money:
Business failures in Scotland rose 10% last year.
5 . MACHINE/BODY PART [uncountable and countable] an occasion when a machine or part of your body stops working properly:
The cause of the crash was engine failure.
heart/kidney/liver etc failure
He died from kidney failure.
a failure in the computer system
6 . CROPS [uncountable and countable] an occasion when crops do not grow or produce food, for example because of bad weather:
a series of crop failures
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COLLOCATIONS (for Meanings 1 & 2)
▪ end in/result in failure
A series of rescue attempts ended in failure.
▪ be doomed to failure (=be certain to fail)
The rebellion was doomed to failure from the start.
▪ admit failure
He was too proud to admit failure.
▪ accept failure
Being able to accept failure is part of life.
▪ avoid failure
She was anxious to avoid failure.
▪ complete/total/utter failure
The project ended in total failure.
▪ abject/dismal failure (=used to emphasize how bad a failure is)
The experiment was considered a dismal failure.
▪ a personal failure (=a failure that is someone's personal fault)
He considered his inability to form long-term relationships to be a personal failure.
▪ economic failure
Economic failure drove the government out of office.
▪ fear of failure
Fear of failure should not deter you from trying.
▪ the risk/possibility of failure
The risk of failure for a new product is very high.
The possibility of failure was sufficiently high for the auditors to warn investors.
▪ an admission of failure
Dropping out of college would be an admission of failure.
▪ a history of failure (=a situation in which someone has failed many times in the past)
Some children have a history of failure at school.
▪ a string of failures (=a series of failures)
The team has had a string of failures in recent games.
▪ a sense of failure
People may feel a sense of failure if they admit they have ended up in a job they hate.
▪ the consequences of failure
The political consequences of failure would be defeat at the next election.
■ failure + NOUN
▪ a failure rate
There is a high failure rate in the restaurant industry.
• • •
▪ failure noun [countable] someone or something that is not successful:
The book was a complete failure.
I felt a complete failure.
▪ flop noun [countable] informal something that is not successful because people do not like it – used especially about a film, play, product, or performance:
Despite the hype, the movie was a flop at the box office.
Their next computer was a flop.
▪ disaster noun [countable] used when saying that something is extremely unsuccessful:
Our first date was a disaster.
Their marriage was a total disaster.
▪ fiasco noun [countable usually singular] something that is completely unsuccessful and goes very badly wrong – used especially about things that have been officially planned, which go very wrong:
The baggage system broke down on the first day the airport was open. It was a complete fiasco.
The fiasco came close to ending de Gaulle's political career.
▪ debacle noun [countable usually singular] formal an event or situation that is a complete failure, because it does not happen in the way that it was officially planned:
the banking debacle that has put our economy at risk
▪ shambles noun [singular] especially British English if a situation or event is a shambles, it is completely unsuccessful because it has been very badly planned or organized, and no one seems to know what to do:
The first few shows were a shambles, but things soon got better.
▪ washout noun [singular] informal a failure – used when something is so bad that it would be better if it had not happened:
The play wasn’t a complete washout; the acting was okay.
His most recent and ambitious project, a big-budget Hollywood film, was a washout with both critics and audiences alike.
▪ turkey noun [countable] informal something that is so bad and unsuccessful that you think the people involved should be embarrassed about it – a very informal use:
At the time most people thought the car was a complete turkey.
Since then he has appeared in a string of turkeys.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012