Definition of failing in English:



  • A weakness, especially in a person's character; a shortcoming.

    ‘pride is a terrible failing’
    • ‘Although still a great hero and a favourite of the people, he acquires human faults and failings.’
    • ‘Independence deserves to be discussed on its own merits or failings - the honest approach.’
    • ‘They show their foibles and failings, their gifts and talents in a way that's entirely theirs.’
    • ‘But his teams are, as everyone knows, a mirror of the man with all his failings and virtues.’
    • ‘The report also points out failings in the communication between agencies.’
    • ‘I am pleased to see that you are not completely ignorant of his failings.’
    • ‘We all have different idiosyncrocies and failings, but none should be blamed on our race and seen as a reason to hate.’
    • ‘What are the major failings in the operation of the council from the point of view of councillors?’
    • ‘Also, we are being asked to be more transparent about our limitations and our failings.’
    • ‘The Fire Authority admitted a catalogue of systematic failings but laid the blame elsewhere.’
    • ‘They struggle to admit their own failings and are quick to pass judgments.’
    • ‘With funds and several groups have got compensation for failings on the part of the State.’
    • ‘He had many failings, but I believe he acted in the best way he knew how, within the limits he had.’
    • ‘She accepts that she has failings, but won't accept that they cannot be eradicated.’
    • ‘In that light, Curbishley will always thrive, and his other failings will go un-noticed.’
    • ‘Although she is now confident in her talents, Small seems to focus more on what she sees as failings in her acting.’
    • ‘Through these tales, the son begins to understand his father's great feats and his great failings.’
    • ‘Accidents usually happen as a result of human failings as much as wickedness.’
    • ‘Councillors are as much at fault for the failings of particular services in the borough as the officers who run them.’
    • ‘In the circumstances there are clear failings all round and no signs that the necessary lessons will be learnt.’
    fault, shortcoming, weakness, weak point, weak spot, imperfection, defect, flaw, blemish, frailty, infirmity, foible, quirk, idiosyncrasy, vice
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  • In the absence of; if not.

    ‘she longed to be with him and, failing that, to be alone’
    • ‘Can anyone recommend a chain, or failing that, a local store in Austin, Texas, that would carry them?’
    • ‘A lot of communities either try to prop up their long-established economic pillars or, failing that, they try to attract something big and new.’
    in the absence of, in default of, lacking, wanting, notwithstanding
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