Definition of failing in English:



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

    ‘she longed to be with him and, failing that, to be on her own’
    • ‘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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