Definition of fail-safe in English:

fail-safe

adjective

  • 1Causing a piece of machinery or other mechanism to revert to a safe condition in the event of a breakdown or malfunction.

    ‘a forklift with a fail-safe device’
    • ‘The other thing we had noticed when Sally had come in to have the warning light checked out was that the transmission was always stuck in third gear, or fail-safe mode.’
    • ‘Eyewear of the appropriate optical density is worn when using devices not equipped with fail-safe mechanisms.’
    • ‘Since that time the device has gone through rigorous testing to develop tamper-resistant and fail-safe systems.’
    • ‘The Tangara trains are equipped with a number of fail-safe devices, including one known as a deadman's brake.’
    • ‘Systems in a reactor work in fail-safe mode, which means that the failure of a system will lead to a safer mode of operation.’
    • ‘If the potential human and economic costs are high enough, engineers who work with floodwater alleviation systems always design them with some sort of fail-safe mechanism.’
    • ‘With modern systems that relied more on fail-safe electronic units than on mechanical devices that could break down or malfunction at any time, flying had become a lot safer these days.’
    dependable, safe, fail-safe, tried and tested, well built, well engineered, good
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Unlikely or unable to fail.
      ‘the computer that runs the place is supposed to be fail-safe’
      • ‘They also see prompts as a means for new users to teach themselves to use a device in a fail-safe manner.’
      • ‘While sensible, it is not a fail-safe precaution.’
      • ‘It's pretty fail-safe, but you still have to pay attention to what you're doing.’
      • ‘The major motivation of new collectors seems to be the perception that art is a fail-safe investment, like a government guaranteed tax-free fixed deposit with spectacular interest rates.’
      • ‘If you're getting mixed signals, give the subject this fail-safe test on a piece of paper.’
      • ‘The good news is that having your teeth professionally whitened is not only affordable, which should last a lifetime with occasional top-ups - it is also a simple, noninvasive and virtually fail-safe procedure.’
      • ‘And there is no fail-safe way to prevent people from gaining access to semi-automatic weapons - without banning them from the public at large.’
      • ‘Check the software to verify if it has fail-safe and recovery procedures.’
      • ‘For the uninitiated, most ground forces still employ a final fail-safe method for testing the air before giving the ‘all clear’ message to soldiers wearing their gas masks.’
      • ‘In the main this system works well, but it is not entirely fail-safe.’
      • ‘There were fail-safe steps in place, and they didn't work.’
      • ‘The campaign also has two back-up credit card transaction systems in place (one built in-house and one by a consultant) for high traffic periods and as a fail-safe procedure.’
      • ‘We need more certainty about bias, some dependable, fail-safe test.’
      • ‘I'm violently opposed to taking that on, but somehow I do believe that government will have to have a fail-safe protection on that piece of the retirement expense.’
      • ‘She wants not only clearer labelling but also a fail-safe device which would make it impossible for a drug to be wrongly administered.’
      • ‘But should the worse-case scenario happen, Robert teaches women some fail-safe moves which would disable an assailant.’
      • ‘As a result of the impact of failure, aerospace systems have greater redundancy and fail-safe requirements.’
      • ‘It's a cheap one, and does not seem to have some form of fail-safe opening-from-the-outside device, for people that have forgotten their keys.’
      • ‘Columbia was the first spacecraft to disintegrate on re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere - and the results, in falling debris, were a shocking lesson to the engineers responsible for fail-safe planning.’
      • ‘That is wise, but it seems to me the most fail-safe way to protect a corporate network from viruses is to prevent their entrance into the system in the first place.’

noun

  • [usually in singular] A system or plan that comes into operation in the event of something going wrong or that is there to prevent such an occurrence.

    ‘the secondary safety system is indeed a fail-safe’
    • ‘While no one is saying anything for certain - and even though the company has some corruption fail-safes built into its software, the inkling seems to be that it is probably some kind of software glitch.’
    • ‘There are just so many fail-safes that you have to build in, because you only get one chance, and the cameras of the world are on you.’
    • ‘There's gonna be a lot of fail-safes put in place between state, local and federal law enforcement agencies.’
    • ‘A small auxiliary throttle is used as a fail-safe should the system fail, to control fuel tank ventilation, and to improve cold starts.’
    • ‘It has never really disappeared from our wardrobes, but the blazer, once a conservative fail-safe, is now the latest in casual chic.’
    • ‘Many shooters don't understand the purpose of such a dual action, assuming that the pump mechanism is a fail-safe against a malfunction with the semiauto mode.’
    • ‘Scary enough, but the researchers also found that the corrupted system's self-analysing fail-safe would itself sometimes fail to detect the anomaly.’
    • ‘Elements of information on the certificate are placed in a particular way so as to act as a fail-safe against any crude counterfeit efforts.’
    • ‘I have my master plan set, as well as fail-safes in position as well.’
    • ‘Right now, he sees you as some kind of fail-safe that he can rely on.’
    • ‘But, as I imagine it was meant to do, it was also reassuring to see what fail-safes and other options exist in even the direst circumstances.’
    • ‘The fail-safes on the program alert us when something gets neglected.’
    • ‘We obviously have a great understanding of the system and there are numerous fail-safes, but it does get sporty.’
    • ‘The big important systems such as atmosphere, food, environmental, navigation, and drill were protected with so many back-ups and fail-safes that it was almost impossible for them to freeze.’
    • ‘In addition, all federally funded prevention materials would be required to include information warning people that condoms are not 100 percent fail-safe.’
    • ‘A large fund was set up with a set of strict guarantees and fail-safes to provide the stream of income required for the maintenance of my crypt.’
    • ‘Before he ever reached another catatonic state, emergency fail-safes would activate.’
    • ‘Ramirez sat down, and typed in his personal code, overriding the General's fail-safes and security measures as he retook control of the automated defence systems.’
    • ‘I imagine there were fail-safes against something like that.’
    • ‘As an example, if you order a server from the company, when the order is submitted fail-safes within the system will alert us if a mistake has been made and won't allow the server to be configured incorrectly.’

Pronunciation:

fail-safe

/ˈfāl ˈˌsāf/