What is failure?

  • (noun): An unexpected omission.
    Example: "He resented my failure to return his call"; "the mechanic's failure to check the brakes"
    See also — Additional definitions below


Failure is the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success. Product failure ranges from failure to sell the product to fracture of the product, in the worst cases leading to personal injury, the province of forensic engineering.

Read more about Failure.

Some articles on failure:

Henry Petroski
... Henry Petroski (February 6, 1942) is an American engineer specializing in failure analysis ... beginning with To Engineer is Human The Role of Failure in Successful Design (1985) and including a number of titles detailing the industrial design history of common, everyday objects, such as pencils ... His most recently published book is To Forgive Design Understanding Failure ...
Common Cause And Special Cause (statistics) - Importance To Industrial and Quality Management
... A special-cause failure is a failure that can be corrected by changing a component or process, whereas a common-cause failure is equivalent to noise in the system and ...
Failure - Internet Memes
... The term "miserable failure" has also been popularized as a result of a widely known "Google bombing," which caused Google searches for the term to turn up the White House biography of George W ...
No Highway In The Sky - Plot
... Labrador, which he theorizes occurred because of a structural failure in the tail caused by sudden metal fatigue ... of hours his theory projects for the fatal failure ... In the laboratory, the time he predicted for failure passes without failure ...
1968 24 Hours Of Le Mans - Race
... One of Wyer's cars had clutch failure at 1700, the other had engine failure at 2200 ... second place under the rain, despite a windshield wiper failure and his teammate Johnny Servoz-Gavin refusing to drive the car in such conditions ...

More definitions of "failure":

  • (noun): An event that does not accomplish its intended purpose.
    Example: "The surprise party was a complete failure"
  • (noun): Lack of success.
    Example: "He felt that his entire life had been a failure"; "that year there was a crop failure"
  • (noun): An act that fails.
    Example: "His failure to pass the test"
  • (noun): Inability to discharge all your debts as they come due.
    Example: "Fraudulent loans led to the failure of many banks"
    Synonyms: bankruptcy
  • (noun): Loss of ability to function normally.
    Example: "Kidney failure"

Famous quotes containing the word failure:

    I am dead against art’s being self-expression. I see an inherent failure in any story which fails to detach itself from the author—detach itself in the sense that a well-blown soap-bubble detaches itself from the bowl of the blower’s pipe and spherically takes off into the air as a new, whole, pure, iridescent world. Whereas the ill-blown bubble, as children know, timidly adheres to the bowl’s lip, then either bursts or sinks flatly back again.
    Elizabeth Bowen (1899–1973)

    All health and success does me good, however far off and withdrawn it may appear; all disease and failure helps to make me sad and does me evil, however much sympathy it may have with me or I with it.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    ... how have I used rivers, how have I used wars
    to escape writing of the worst thing of all—
    not the crimes of other, not even our own death,
    but the failure to want our freedom passionately enough
    so that blighted elms, sick rivers, massacres would seem
    mere emblems of that desecration of ourselves?
    Adrienne Rich (b. 1929)