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FAIL, L. fallo Gr. whence Eng. felony. It seems to be allied to fall, fallow, pale, and many other words.

1. To become deficient to be insufficient to cease to be abundant for supply or to be entirely wanting. We say, in a dry season, the springs and streams fail, or are failing, before they are entirely exhausted. We say also, the springs failed, when they entirely ceased to flow. Crops fail wholly or partially.
2. To decay to decline to sink to be diminished. We say of a sick person, his strength fails daily.
3. To decline to decay to sink to become weaker as, the patient fails every hour.
4. To be extinct to cease to be entirely wanting to be no longer produced.

Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth for the faithful fail from among the children of men. Psalms 12 .

5. To be entirely exhausted to be wanting to cease from supply.

Money failed in the land of Egypt. Genesis 47 .

6. To cease to perish to be lost.

Lest the remembrance of his grief should fail.

7. To die.

They shall all fail together. Isaiah 31 .

8. To decay to decline as, the sight fails in old age.
9. To become deficient or wanting as, the heart or the courage fails.
10. To miss not to produce the effect. the experiment was made with care, but failed, or failed to produce the effect, or failed of the effect.
11. To be deficient in duty to omit or neglect. the debtor failed to fulfil his promise.
12. To miss to miscarry to be frustrated or disappointed. The enemy attacked the fort, but failed in his design, or failed of success.
13. To be neglected to fall short not to be executed. the promises of a man of probity seldom fail.

The soul or the spirit fails, when a person is discouraged. The eyes fail, when the desires and expectations are long delayed, and the person is disappointed.

14. To become insolvent or bankrupt. When merchants and traders fail, they are said to become bankrupt. When other men fail, they are said to become insolvent.


1. To desert to disappoint to cease or to neglect or omit to afford aid, supply or strength. it is said, fortune never fails the brave. Our friends sometimes fail us, when we most need them. The aged attempt to walk, when their limbs fail them. In bold enterprises, courage should never fail the hero.
2. to omit not to perform.

The inventive God, who never fails his part.

3. to be wanting to.

There shall never fail thee a man on the throne. 1 Kings 2 .

In the transitive use of this verb there is really an ellipsis of from or to, or other word. In strictness, the verb is not transitive, and the passive particple is, I believe, never used.

FAIL, n. Omission non-performance.

1. He will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites. Joshua 3 .
2. Miscarriage failure deficience want death.

In these senses little used.

Copyright Statement
Dictionary of Words from the King James Bible. Public Domain. Copy freely.
Material presented was supplied by Brandon Staggs and was derived from the KJV Dictionary found on his website located at
The unabridged 1828 version of this dictionary in the SwordSearcher Bible Software.

Bibliography Information
Entry for 'Fail'. King James Dictionary.

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