Definition of failed in English:



  • 1(of an undertaking or a relationship) not achieving its end or not lasting; unsuccessful.

    ‘a failed coup attempt’
    • ‘They believe that displaying the objects associated with a failed relationship is better therapy than destroying them.’
    • ‘Yet, you continue to espouse the virtues of this failed experiment.’
    • ‘It is reported that she had her share of physical problems such as epilepsy but her real problem was a series of failed relationships.’
    • ‘I could list a host of ways the taxpayer could get far better value for money than continuing the present failed scheme.’
    • ‘Leeds Crown Court was told on his conviction that he had faced financial ruin over the failed libel action.’
    • ‘We should not continue to use the failed nationwide strategy, election after election.’
    • ‘I just hate to think that all I can get out of a failed relationship is a few good memories, a few bad ones and that's it.’
    • ‘Since then, his movie career has largely consisted of false leads and failed promises.’
    • ‘An earlier documentary about her trips there was never shown after the television company made a failed legal bid to lift the injunction.’
    • ‘If ever there was a perfect movie to accompany the guilt and loss of a failed relationship then this would have to be it.’
    • ‘After a failed transplant operation her big-hearted mother, Jeanette Grant, donated one of her own kidneys.’
    • ‘Since rebels launched a failed coup attempt two years ago, the country has been split in two.’
    • ‘The machine tool engineer has suffered from kidney complications since birth and had already had one failed kidney transplant.’
    • ‘They had been discussing how to repay some of the debts Thompson had accumulated from a failed relationship.’
    • ‘Well, we think it's just a continuation of the failed trade policies of the past ten years.’
    • ‘The press has labelled the failed settlement a power-sharing agreement.’
    • ‘He had suffered the brunt of a failed relationship with that other woman.’
    • ‘Such individuals may mistakenly conclude that the decline of passionate love is a sign of a failed relationship.’
    • ‘I have not had an easy life due to failed relationships and this causes my parents to worry about me even though I am thirty seven years old now.’
    • ‘The alleged offences related to a failed property development scheme in Rhodesia.’
    • ‘She is tired of her ‘Tragic Annie’ tag, the depressed woman with the string of failed relationships.’
    • ‘This projection staged a woman driving in a car relating her experience of a failed love relationship.’
    • ‘Brian Friel's early play is a catalogue of failed connections and opportunities missed by the narrowest of margins.’
    fruitless, vain, pointless
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    1. 1.1(of a person) unsuccessful in a particular activity.
      ‘a failed writer’
      • ‘The failed thief drew both of his blades, and with a swift motion stepped forward, turned, and attacked.’
      • ‘He is a failed musician whose dream in life is to own an actual fork from the Titanic.’
      • ‘There is much less risk of bias here than in the sourness of the failed artist who has had to turn to criticism to live.’
      • ‘His father was a failed musician who worked at various sports halls.’
      • ‘Cash's cover invokes an image of an epic judgment day for a planet festering with failed lovers.’
      • ‘Again he added to his holdings by taking over sections from failed farmers, as well as a block selected by his son Frank.’
      • ‘A failed teacher in Trinidad moves to the country to become a writer.’
      • ‘As C pointed out, he is a former golf pro (and a failed teacher), so it's almost expected of him.’
      • ‘He himself plays the failed directors in Prénom: Carmen and Soigne ta droite.’
      • ‘They found that each bank engaged in about a dozen deals that involve questionable transactions with the failed energy trader.’
      • ‘Many illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers will be unable to pay.’
      • ‘One failed candidate shrugged, and said that he would just have to try harder next time.’
      • ‘Fayed is embroiled in a dispute with Thurso, whom he accuses of misusing his position to promote a failed businessman.’
      • ‘Copy editors can't be taken lightly and brushed off as a bunch of failed writers.’
      • ‘You can take your Olympians and your failed athletes, I'll stick with old Captain Bob if its all the same.’
      • ‘I am a writer, some would say a failed writer, but really, how is it possible to fail at writing?’
      • ‘A failed manager provides a suitable focus for anger and disappointment.’
      • ‘Tahsin's other friend Umut is a failed actor, drinking himself to death.’
      • ‘A failed student, who also turns sexually rash, Rajan runs away from the taunts and threats of his father.’
      • ‘The failed artist, Burton seems to be saying, is not just a hack, but a naive person with a vision.’
      unprofitable, unprosperous, loss-making
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    2. 1.2(of a business) unable to continue owing to financial difficulties.
      ‘a failed transport company’
      • ‘To add a pinch of salt to his wound, he is currently filming a television series about how to resurrect failed restaurant businesses.’
      • ‘Many were curious about my failed business ventures and relocation to deepest West Sussex.’
      • ‘If industry prices are high, and artists keep protesting, their predictions of a failed industry will come true.’
      • ‘I was declared bankrupt after a failed business venture and then divorced my second wife.’
      • ‘Your writer gave a very accurate picture of the sad story of a failed business in a small community.’
      • ‘Several failed business ventures affected his mental state and he committed suicide in 1966, aged 37.’
      • ‘Mr. Muhammad, who has a series of failed businesses in his past, hung up the telephone on a reporter who called for comment.’
      • ‘The law creates a mechanism for shutting down failed credit cooperatives using money from the restructuring fund.’
      • ‘Dearnley's precarious financial position stemmed from debts from a failed company he set up and a careless approach to money.’
      • ‘He said the musical was about a family who live in a large flat over a warehouse where Reg had his failed costume business.’
      • ‘After all, business history is littered with failed Western investments in China.’
      • ‘But he never recaptured his previous form and lost thousands of pounds in failed business deals.’
      • ‘What's more, his failed business schemes kept the family one step ahead of the creditors.’
      • ‘Bet there are plenty of failed dotcom business models they could get their hands on.’
      insolvent, bankrupted
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  • 2(of a mechanism) not functioning properly.

    ‘an aircraft with a failed engine’
    • ‘Back at the workshop this was proved correct - no problem with the engine, just a failed sensor.’
    • ‘Hard dies are a proven process where the amount of failed parts can be projected.’
    • ‘The rescue craft is normally based at Cottage Point but for the last ten months has been idle because of a failed engine.’
    • ‘A failed filter can permanently ruin the entire drip system in a very short period of time.’
    • ‘Maintenance determined the cause of the fire was a failed weld on the engine-bleed-air line.’
    • ‘What is the quickest and most efficient way to determine the root cause of a failed transmission system?’
    • ‘Anyway, the problem turned out to be a failed sensor, not any actual mechanical system that makes the car work.’
    • ‘Failing one engine, he brought the aircraft to a stall to stop the rotation of the failed engine's prop.’
    • ‘We continued our descent to land as I called the tower and reported a failed engine.’
    • ‘The Boston was forced to land in choppy seas because of a failed oil pump.’
    • ‘You can get backup power sources, but there's nothing you can do for a failed connection.’