From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishfailurefail‧ure /ˈfeɪljə $ -ər/ ●●● S3 W2 noun 🔊 🔊 1 lack of success [countable, uncountable]FAIL 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 agreement2 unsuccessful person/thing [countable]FAIL someone or something that is not successful opp success 🔊 I always felt a bit of a failure at school.3 → failure to do something4 business [countable, uncountable]BBBF 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 [countable, uncountable]THB 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.failure in 🔊 a failure in the computer system6 crops [countable, uncountable] an occasion when crops do not grow or produce food, for example because of bad weather 🔊 a series of crop failuresCOLLOCATIONS – Meanings 1 & 2verbsend in/result in failureA 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 failureHe was too proud to admit failure.accept failureBeing able to accept failure is part of life.avoid failureShe was anxious to avoid failure.adjectivescomplete/total/utter failureThe 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 failureEconomic failure drove the government out of office.phrasesfear of failureFear of failure should not deter you from trying.the risk/possibility of failureThe 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 failureDropping 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 failurePeople may feel a sense of failure if they admit they have ended up in a job they hate.the consequences of failureThe political consequences of failure would be defeat at the next election.failure + NOUNa failure rateThere is a high failure rate in the restaurant industry.THESAURUSfailure noun [countable] someone or something that is not successfulThe 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 performanceDespite 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 unsuccessfulOur 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 wrongThe 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 plannedthe banking debacle that has put our economy at riskshambles 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 doThe 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 happenedThe 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 useAt the time most people thought the car was a complete turkey.Since then he has appeared in a string of turkeys.
Examples from the Corpusfailure• I feel like such a failure.• Perhaps it is a movie about the promises and failures of public works in and since the New Deal.• It has become the most expensive bank failure in U.S. history.• If the plaintiff was thrown forwards and injured, then clearly failure to wear a seat belt is contributory negligence.• The fragility of life is now characterised by an electricity failure or a virus in computers.• Innovation demands risk, and risk brings with it the possibility of frequent failure.• Heart failure means that the heart muscle is not pumping well enough to meet the need for oxygen-rich blood.• Now, swept by red wave upon wave, she had to expiate her failure.• Their first attempt to climb Mount Everest ended in failure.• She never tries anything because she's terrified of failure.• His ability has been called into question after a number of recent failures.• This occurs because the gastrointestinal absorption of magnesium is not depressed in chronic renal failure.• The failure of the international community to deal effectively with the problem has cost thousands of lives.• The failure of the peace talks has led to increased tension on the streets.• There are various possible reasons for these failures, including errors of recognition and errors of spelling.failure to do something• Failure to show proof of car insurance to an officer will result in a fine.• Ewing lamented his failure to learn Gaelic, and he never managed to train enough priests who did.• Sources of errors in searching mainly involve failure to find related papers due to inconsistencies in the use of personal names.• It helps to explain the conservatism of our class struggle, and its failure to mature into socialist struggle.• Diagnostic difficulties in those cases were related to confusing radiological and endoscopic appearances or failure to obtain histological confirmation of lymphoma.• In that situation failure to accumulate in the face of rapidly rising real wage costs spells disaster.• Outdated computer systems and the failure to help judges to implement the reforms were adding to the chaos.• The failure to find a referent results in a numerical penalty being awarded to the reading for which it occurs.• Mind you, failure to display a phone number doesn't make them instantly dodgy.heart/kidney/liver etc failure• But fainting, and heart failure, is possible.• All the evidence indicates total kidney and heart failure.• Starting soon, some one from the Massachusetts center will check up several times a week on senior citizens with congestive heart failure.• Muscle cramps, kidney and even heart failure are the physical results of prolonged bulimia.• This patient died of liver failure 2 months after the second operation.• In a patient presenting late or after a particularly large overdose recognition of the onset of liver failure is crucial.• Long-term use led to heart damage, stroke, kidney failure, and psychosis in some cases.• Doctors have been sent a letter by Sandoz pointing out that 4 people have suffered liver failure after taking Lamisil.crop failures• Both the 1987 and 1989 crop failures followed good years.• The short-term cause of overriding local significance were the droughts and crop failures in 1920 and 1921.• But buy some reserve seeds in case of crop failures or for successive sowings of fast-maturing varieties such as lettuce and radishes.• A series of crop failures have driven many farmers out of business.• Global warming will deeply affect poor countries, leading to huge numbers of refugees, crop failures, and extreme weather.