Share this entry
American English: /feɪl/
British English: /feɪl/

Translation of fail in Spanish:

intransitive verb

  • 1 1.1 (not do)to fail to + infinitivehe failed to live up to our expectations
    no dio todo lo que se esperaba de él
    the engine failed to start first time
    el motor no arrancó de entrada
    both teams failed to score
    ninguno de los (dos) equipos marcó un gol
    you failed to mention the crucial point
    no mencionaste el punto esencial
    she failed to keep her word
    faltó a su palabra
    no cumplió con su palabra
    it never fails to amaze me how many people …
    nunca deja de sorprenderme or de asombrarme cuánta gente …
    I fail to see what business it is of yours
    no veo por qué razón te tienes que meter
    Example sentences
    • In the recent Kendall inspection, the firm was cited for failing to have an adequate design change procedure, according to the warning letter.
    • The Government in turn are guilty of neglect for failing to do anything about it.
    • You and I have have been together for so long now you may feel that I sometimes neglect you, or fail to tell you how I really feel.
    1.2 (not succeed)
    she failed in her attempt to …
    falló or fracasó en su intento de …
    he failed in his application for the post
    no consiguió que le dieran el puesto
    this method never fails
    este método no falla nunca
    if all else fails
    como último recurso
    si no hay otra solución
    Example sentences
    • The nine disciples had just failed miserably in an attempt to heal a child.
    • The systems failed spectacularly to meet the deadline for the new term, but we'll let that pass.
    • The most critical was that the regime had failed to establish firm control over the population.
    Example sentences
    • Yet, businesses fail because of a lack of knowledge, money, and support.
    • I will not stand by and watch American businesses fail because of unfair trading practices abroad.
    • Akwaake said it has been noted that many new businesses fail because of the lack of mentoring.
    also: failed past participle
    1.4 (be inadequate, fall short) to fail in one's duty/obligations
    faltar a or no cumplir con su ( or mi etc) deber/sus ( or mis etc) obligaciones
    Example sentences
    • But once again this year the rains have failed, and the crops are scorched and wilted.
    • Agriculture in Africa is rain-fed, and when those rains fail so do the crops, exacerbating food insecurity.
    • Even as we speak, what worries us is the fact that our crop is failing because of the rains, because of the drought, and we are not the only ones who are hit with it.
  • 2 2.1
    Example sentences
    • The time at which you activate your parachute system plays an important part in the amount of time you have to stop if the parachute fails to deploy properly.
    • Should Service Pack 2 fail to install properly, the guide also explains how to restore your computer to a working state.
    • A system is put under load and either passes or fails.
    Example sentences
    • Michael's health began to fail about two years ago and it deteriorated seriously from which he did not really recover.
    • In latter years, although his health was beginning to fail, he still enjoyed the company of friends and neighbours and had a big interest in the local football team.
    • In the last years his health began to fail but Johnnie held on bravely to the last and did not complain.
    2.3 (weaken) my eyesight/memory is failing
    me está fallando la vista/memoria
    the light was failing
    estaba oscureciendo
    also: failing present participle
    he could no longer read because of his failing eyesight
    la vista se le había deteriorado tanto que ya no podía leer
    he retired because of failing health
    se retiró debido a problemas de salud

transitive verb

  • 2 (let down) his courage/memory failed him
    le faltó valor/le falló la memoria
    he promised help but failed me in the end
    me prometió ayudar pero al final me falló
    you have failed him
    le has fallado
    lo has decepcionado
    words fail me!
    ¡no puedo creerlo!
    in describing Mozart's genius, words fail me
    no encuentro palabras or me faltan las palabras para describir el genio de Mozart


  • 1 (in exam, test) (British English)
    aplazado (masculine) or reprobado (masculine)
    Example sentences
    • It is feared that their children will be given an automatic fail mark because the number of days they study at school falls far short of the minimum set by the education authorities.
    • The pollen certificate might help them get a fail upgraded to a pass grade, or even a lower than expected pass grade increased.
    • He has one pass in biology (grade D) a fail in chemistry (grade N) and an unclassified in maths.
Definition of fail in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources


    Next Score: