- fault (n.)
- late 13c., faute, "deficiency," from Old French faute, earlier falte, "opening, gap; failure, flaw, blemish; lack, deficiency" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *fallita "a shortcoming, falling," from Latin falsus "deceptive, feigned, spurious," past participle of fallere "deceive, disappoint" (see fail (v.)).
The -l- was restored 16c., probably in imitation of Latin, but the letter was silent until 18c. Sense of "physical defect" is from early 14c.; that of "moral culpability" is first recorded late 14c. Geological sense is from 1796. The use in tennis (c. 1600) is closer to the etymological sense.
- fault (v.)
- "find fault with," mid-15c. from fault (n.). Earlier it was used in an intransitive sense of "be deficient" (late 14c., Scottish). Related: Faulted; faulter; faulting.