Etymology
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fail (v.)

c. 1200, "be unsuccessful in accomplishing a purpose;" also "cease to exist or to function, come to an end;" early 13c. as "fail in expectation or performance," from Old French falir "be lacking, miss, not succeed; run out, come to an end; err, make a mistake; be dying; let down, disappoint" (11c., Modern French faillir), from Vulgar Latin *fallire, from Latin fallere "to trip, cause to fall;" figuratively "to deceive, trick, dupe, cheat, elude; fail, be lacking or defective." De Vaan traces this to a PIE root meaning "to stumble" (source also of Sanskrit skhalate "to stumble, fail;" Middle Persian škarwidan "to stumble, stagger;" Greek sphallein "to bring or throw down," sphallomai "to fall;" Armenian sxalem "to stumble, fail"). If so, the Latin sense is a metaphorical shift from "stumble" to "deceive." Related: Failed; failing.

Replaced Old English abreoðan. From c. 1200 as "be unsuccessful in accomplishing a purpose;" also "cease to exist or to function, come to an end;" early 13c. as "fail in expectation or performance."

From mid-13c. of food, goods, etc., "to run short in supply, be used up;" from c. 1300 of crops, seeds, land. From c. 1300 of strength, spirits, courage, etc., "suffer loss of vigor; grow feeble;" from mid-14c. of persons. From late 14c. of material objects, "break down, go to pieces."

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fail (n.)
late 13c., "failure, deficiency" (as in without fail), from Old French faile "deficiency," from falir (see fail (v.)). The Anglo-French form of the verb, failer, also came to be used as a noun, hence failure.
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fail-safe (adj.)
also failsafe, fail safe "safe against failure," 1945, originally in reference to aircraft construction, from fail (v.) + safe (adj.). The novel about a nuclear attack caused by mechanical error is from 1962.
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failing (n.)
late 14c., "failure;" 1580s, "defect, fault," verbal noun from fail (v.).
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fallible (adj.)
early 15c., from Medieval Latin fallibilis "liable to err, deceitful," literally "that can be deceived," from Latin fallere "deceive" (see fail (v.)).
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unfailing (adj.)
late 14c., "never coming to an end, unceasing, everlasting, inexhaustible," from un- (1) "not" + present participle of fail (v.). Related: Unfailingly.
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failure (n.)
1640s, failer, "a failing, deficiency," also "act of failing," from Anglo-French failer, Old French falir "be lacking; not succeed" (see fail (v.)). The verb in Anglo-French used as a noun; ending altered 17c. in English to conform with words in -ure. Meaning "thing or person considered as a failure" is from 1837.
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fallacy (n.)
late 15c., "deception, false statement," from Latin fallacia "deception, deceit, trick, artifice," abstract noun from fallax (genitive fallacis) "deceptive," from fallere "deceive" (see fail (v.)). Specific sense in logic, "false syllogism, invalid argumentation," dates from 1550s. An earlier form was fallace (c. 1300), from Old French fallace.
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default (n.)
Origin and meaning of default

early 13c., "offense, crime, sin;" late 13c., "a failing or failure, failure to act," from Old French defaute (12c.) "fault, defect, failure, culpability, lack, privation," from Vulgar Latin *defallita "a deficiency or failure," past participle of *defallere, from Latin de "away" (see de-) + fallere "to deceive, to cheat; to put wrong, to lead astray, cause to be mistaken; to escape notice of, be concealed from" (see fail (v.)). The financial sense is first recorded 1858; the computing sense is from 1966.

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comme il faut 

"according to etiquette," 1756, French, literally "as it should be." From comme "as, like, how," from Old French com, from Vulgar Latin *quomo, from Latin quomodo "how? in what way?," pronominal adverb of manner, related to quam "how much?," qui "who" (from PIE root *kwo-, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns). With il, from Latin ille "this" (see le) + faut, third person singular present indicative active of falloir "be necessary," literally "be wanting or lacking" (see fail (v.)).

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