Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: faute, from Latin fallere; FAIL1


1 noun
fault1 S2 W3 [countable]

responsible for mistake

if something bad that has happened is your fault, you should be blamed for it, because you made a mistake or failed to do something:
I'm really sorry - it's all my fault.
be somebody's fault (that)
It's your fault we're late.
I didn't sleep well that night, but it was my own fault.
be somebody's fault for doing something
It's my fault for not making your new job clearer.

at fault

if someone is at fault, they are responsible for something bad that has happened:
The police said that the other driver was at fault.
Some people claim that it is the UN that is at fault.

something wrong with something

a) something that is wrong with a machine, system, design etc, which prevents it from working properly:
a design fault
fault in
It sounds as if there's a fault in one of the loudspeakers.
b) something that is wrong with something, which could be improved [= flaw]:
There are two serious faults in Hobsbawm's discussion of nationalism.
For all its faults (=in spite of its faults) we love this city.
c) a mistake in the way that something was made, which spoils its appearance
fault in
The sweater had a fault in it and I had to take it back.

somebody's character

a bad or weak part of someone's character:
His worst fault is his arrogance.
I may have my faults, but ingratitude is not one of them.
For all his faults (=in spite of his faults) he was a good father.

through no fault of her/my etc own

used to say that something bad that happened to someone was not caused by them:
Through no fault of our own we are currently two players short.


HEG a large crack in the rocks that form the Earth's surface:
the San Andreas fault

generous/loyal/honest etc to a fault

extremely generous, kind etc:
Barry's kind, caring and generous to a fault.


DST a mistake made when a player is serving the ball in tennis
double fault

; ➔ find fault with somebody/something

at find1 (14)

fault, blame, mistake
If someone causes something bad, you can say that it is their fault or that they are to blame The accident was my fault. Nobody is to blame for what happened. !! Do not say that someone 'has the/a etc fault' We didn't think that it was our fault OR that we were to blame (NOT that we had any fault).!! Do not say that something is 'someone's blame'. Use fault to mean something that is wrong with a machine or system, or something that you could criticize about a person or thing The car engine had developed a fault. The book's only fault is that it is too long. Use mistake to mean something that is wrong in someone's grammar, spelling, calculations, decisions etc Please correct any mistakes (NOT faults) in my letter.

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