failure fail‧ure [ˈfeɪljə ǁ -ər] noun
1. [countable, uncountable] COMMERCE a situation in which a business that is not successful has to close because it is losing money:

• The Official Receiver recommended a detailed investigation into the reasons for the company's failure.

Business failures rose by 31% to 62,767, according to Dun & Bradstreet.

2. [uncountable] lack of success in achieving or doing something:
failure to do something

• the failure of some large firms to adhere to a strict policy on wages

ˈaudit ˌfailure [countable, uncountable] ACCOUNTING
when an audit (= an official examination of a company's financial records) does not find things which it should), meaning that there could be fraud:

• Some audit failures have resulted in professional disciplining.

ˈmarket ˌfailure [uncountable]
ECONOMICS when a market does not work efficiently, for example because buyers and sellers do not have all the information they require to make sensible decisions, or because it does not take into account costs such as damage to the environment:

• If firms refuse to take on more labour because the effective demand for their goods is too low, the government can correct for this type of market failure by increasing demand.

3. [countable, uncountable] a situation in which equipment or a machine stops working:

• potential financial loss as a result of computer failure

* * *

failure UK US /ˈfeɪljər/ noun
[C or U] a situation in which a company has been unsuccessful and has to stop operating: »

The number and seriousness of the bank failures took economists by surprise.


We're finally seeing a slowdown in the rate of business failures.

See also AUDIT FAILURE(Cf. ↑audit failure), MARKET FAILURE(Cf. ↑market failure)
[U] lack of success in trying to do something: »

If you're too scared of failure, you'll never try to achieve anything.

[U] a situation in which a machine or system stops working: »

The cause of the crash is now thought to be engine failure.

[C] someone or something that is not successful: »

He always thought of himself as a failure.

failure to do sth — Cf. failure to do sth

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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