Etymology
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failing (n.)

late 14c., "failure;" 1580s, "defect, fault," verbal noun from fail (v.).

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Definitions of failing
1
failing (n.)
a flaw or weak point;
he was quick to point out his wife's failings
Synonyms: weakness
failing (n.)
failure to reach a minimum required performance;
his failing the course led to his disqualification
Synonyms: flunk
2
failing (adj.)
below acceptable in performance;
received failing grades
From wordnet.princeton.edu