Etymology
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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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Definitions of failure

failure (n.)
an act that fails;
his failure to pass the test
failure (n.)
an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose;
the surprise party was a complete failure
failure (n.)
lack of success;
that year there was a crop failure
he felt that his entire life had been a failure
failure (n.)
a person with a record of failing; someone who loses consistently;
Synonyms: loser / nonstarter / unsuccessful person
failure (n.)
an unexpected omission;
he resented my failure to return his call
the mechanic's failure to check the brakes
failure (n.)
inability to discharge all your debts as they come due;
fraudulent loans led to the failure of many banks
Synonyms: bankruptcy
failure (n.)
loss of ability to function normally;
kidney failure
From wordnet.princeton.edu