n. & v.
1. a defect or imperfection of character or of structure, appearance, etc.
2 a break or other defect in an electric circuit.
3 a transgression, offence, or thing wrongly done.
4 a Tennis etc. a service of the ball not in accordance with the rules. b (in showjumping) a penalty for an error.
5 responsibility for wrongdoing, error, etc. (it will be your own fault).
6 a defect regarded as the cause of something wrong (the fault lies in the teaching methods).
7 Geol. an extended break in the continuity of strata or a vein.
1. tr. find fault with; blame.
2 tr. declare to be faulty.
3 tr. Geol. break the continuity of (strata or a vein).
4 intr. commit a fault.
5 intr. Geol. show a fault.
Phrases and idioms:
at fault guilty; to blame. fault-finder a person given to continually finding fault. fault-finding continual criticism. find fault (often foll. by with) make an adverse criticism; complain. to a fault (usu. of a commendable quality etc.) excessively (generous to a fault).
Etymology: ME faut(e) f. OF ult. f. L fallere FAIL