failure noun

1 lack of success

ADJ. complete, total | abject, humiliating, ignominious The attempt ended in abject failure. | inevitable | costly | alleged, apparent, perceived | evident | comparative, relative | initial Initial failure was followed by unexpected, if modest, success. | ultimate War is the ultimate failure of public communication. | personal | moral | academic | economic, financial | military

VERB + FAILURE be doomed to, end in, result in All her efforts were doomed to failure. | admit, confess He was too proud to admit failure. | expect Children who are doing badly tend to expect failure and criticism. | fear | avoid

FAILURE + NOUN rate There is a high failure rate with this treatment.

PHRASES fear of failure Fear of failure should not deter you from trying. | a history of failure John had a long history of academic failure. | a possibility/risk of failure, a sense of failure

2 unsuccessful person/thing

ADJ. great, serious | complete, total, utter | catastrophic, disastrous | abject, conspicuous, dismal, humiliating, ignominious, lamentable, miserable | costly | heroic Her ideas were large: if she could not succeed, she would at least be a heroic failure. | alleged, apparent, perceived | evident | comparative, relative | past to learn from past failures | rare The film was one of the rare failures in his career. | unexpected | personal | collective | moral | academic | economic, financial economic failure and increasing unemployment | military

VERB + FAILURE be, represent | prove The venture proved a costly failure. | feel I felt a complete failure. | consider sb/sth, regard sb/sth as | brand sb/sth, pronounce sb/sth Her parents had long since branded her a failure.

FAILURE + VERB arise from sth failures arising from circumstances beyond your control

PREP. ~ of The decision to withdraw funding represents a failure of imagination.

3 not doing sth

ADJ. fundamental | general | manifest | consistent, constant, continued/continuing, persistent, repeated | government, management government failure to listen to the voice of the electorate

VERB + FAILURE excuse, justify seeking to excuse his failure to ask her permission

4 of a machine/system/part of the body, etc.

ADJ. battery, brake, component, computer, engine, equipment, mechanical, power, system, technical | bank, business, commercial, company, corporate, market Business failures rose by 30% in 2001. | brain, heart, kidney, liver | crop, harvest | communication

VERB + FAILURE cause, lead to, result in a rare viral infection that can lead to heart failure

FAILURE + VERB occur A power failure occurred between 4 and 5 p.m.

PREP. ~ in a failure in the computer system