Definition of failing in English:



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

    ‘pride is a terrible failing’
    • ‘We all have different idiosyncrocies and failings, but none should be blamed on our race and seen as a reason to hate.’
    • ‘But his teams are, as everyone knows, a mirror of the man with all his failings and virtues.’
    • ‘The Fire Authority admitted a catalogue of systematic failings but laid the blame elsewhere.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Also, we are being asked to be more transparent about our limitations and our failings.’
    • ‘Councillors are as much at fault for the failings of particular services in the borough as the officers who run them.’
    • ‘The report also points out failings in the communication between agencies.’
    • ‘He had many failings, but I believe he acted in the best way he knew how, within the limits he had.’
    • ‘What are the major failings in the operation of the council from the point of view of councillors?’
    • ‘They struggle to admit their own failings and are quick to pass judgments.’
    • ‘In the circumstances there are clear failings all round and no signs that the necessary lessons will be learnt.’
    • ‘I am pleased to see that you are not completely ignorant of his failings.’
    • ‘With funds and several groups have got compensation for failings on the part of the State.’
    • ‘In that light, Curbishley will always thrive, and his other failings will go un-noticed.’
    • ‘Accidents usually happen as a result of human failings as much as wickedness.’
    • ‘They show their foibles and failings, their gifts and talents in a way that's entirely theirs.’
    • ‘Independence deserves to be discussed on its own merits or failings - the honest approach.’
    • ‘She accepts that she has failings, but won't accept that they cannot be eradicated.’
    • ‘Although still a great hero and a favourite of the people, he acquires human faults and failings.’
    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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Can anyone recommend a chain, or failing that, a local store in Austin, Texas, that would carry them?’
    in the absence of, in default of, lacking, wanting, notwithstanding
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