1. the unwritten lore (stories and proverbs and riddles and songs) of a culture

    Type Of : lore, traditional knowledge


  1. good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence

    Synonyms : longanimity, patience
    Type Of : good nature
  2. a delay in enforcing rights or claims or privileges; refraining from acting

    Type Of : delay, holdup
    Examples :
    • his forbearance to reply was alarming


  1. disappoint, prove undependable to; abandon, forsake

    Synonyms : betray
    Type Of : let down, disappoint
    Examples :
    • His sense of smell failed him this time
    • His strength finally failed him
    • His children failed him in the crisis
  2. be unsuccessful

    Synonyms : go wrong, miscarry
    Antonyms : succeed
    Examples :
    • Where do today's public schools fail?
    • The attempt to rescue the hostages failed miserably
  3. fail to do something; leave something undone

    Synonyms : neglect
    Examples :
    • She failed to notice that her child was no longer in his crib
    • The secretary failed to call the customer and the company lost the account
  4. stop operating or functioning

    Synonyms : break, break down, conk out, die, give out, give way, go, go bad
    Type Of : change
    Examples :
    • The engine failed on the way to town
  5. prove insufficient

    Synonyms : give out, run out
    Examples :
    • The water supply for the town failed after a long drought
  6. fail to get a passing grade

    Synonyms : bomb, flunk, flush it
    Antonyms : pass
    Examples :
    • She studied hard but failed nevertheless
    • Did I fail the test?
  7. fall short in what is expected

    Examples :
    • She failed in her obligations as a good daughter-in-law
    • We must not fail his obligation to the victims of the Holocaust
  8. get worse

    Type Of : decline, worsen
  9. judge unacceptable

    Antonyms : pass
    Type Of : pass judgment, evaluate, judge
    Examples :
    • The teacher failed six students
  10. be unable

    Antonyms : manage
    Examples :
    • I fail to understand your motives
  11. become bankrupt or insolvent; fail financially and close

    Examples :
    • A number of banks failed that year


  1. a person with a record of failing; someone who loses consistently

    Synonyms : loser, nonstarter, unsuccessful person
    Type Of : unfortunate, unfortunate person
  2. inability to discharge all your debts as they come due

    Synonyms : bankruptcy
    Type Of : insolvency
    Examples :
    • fraudulent loans led to the failure of many banks
  3. an act that fails

    Type Of : nonaccomplishment, nonachievement
    Examples :
    • his failure to pass the test
  4. an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose

    Antonyms : success
    Type Of : occurrence, occurrent, happening, natural event
    Examples :
    • the surprise party was a complete failure
  5. an unexpected omission

    Type Of : skip, omission
    Examples :
    • he resented my failure to return his call
    • the mechanic's failure to check the brakes
  6. lack of success

    Antonyms : success
    Type Of : luck, fate, destiny, circumstances, portion, fortune, lot
    Examples :
    • he felt that his entire life had been a failure
    • that year there was a crop failure
  7. loss of ability to function normally

    Type Of : disorder, upset
    Examples :
    • kidney failure


  1. marked by defiant disregard for danger or consequences

    Synonyms : heady, rash, reckless
    Examples :
    • foolhardy enough to try to seize the gun from the hijacker


  1. of or relating to or containing iron

    Synonyms : ferric


  1. a heavy woolen fabric with a long nap

    Type Of : cloth, fabric, material, textile
  2. an architectural ornament consisting of a horizontal sculptured band between the architrave and the cornice

    Type Of : architectural ornament


  1. noisy quarrel

    Synonyms : affray, altercation
    Type Of : row, dustup, quarrel, wrangle, run-in, words


  1. a person used as a cover for some questionable activity

    Synonyms : front, front man, nominal head, straw man, strawman
    Type Of : deceiver, cheat, cheater, beguiler, trickster, slicker
  2. figure on the bow of some sailing vessels

    Type Of : figure


  1. characterized by intense emotion

    Synonyms : ardent, fervid, fiery, impassioned, perfervid, torrid
    Examples :
    • a fervent desire to change society
    • a fervent admirer
  2. (archaic) extremely hot, burning, or glowing

    Synonyms : fervid
    Examples :
    • the fervent heat...merely communicated a genial warmth to their half-torpid systems