Definition of


  1. (noun, act) a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention
    she was quick to point out my errors
    I could understand his English in spite of his grammatical faults
  2. (noun, act) (sports) a serve that is illegal (e.g., that lands outside the prescribed area)
  3. (noun, attribute) responsibility for a bad situation or event
  4. (noun, attribute) the quality of being inadequate or falling short of perfection
    he knew his own faults much better than she did
  5. (noun, event) (electronics) equipment failure attributable to some defect in a circuit (loose connection or insulation failure or short circuit etc.)
  6. (noun, object) (geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other
    he studied the faulting of the earth's crust
  7. (noun, state) an imperfection in an object or machine
    if there are any defects you should send it back to the manufacturer
  8. (verb, communication) put or pin the blame on

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Fault

  1. late 13c., "deficiency," from O.Fr. faute "lack, deficiency," from V.L. *fallita "a shortcoming, falling," noun use of fem. pp., from L. falsus, pp. of fallere "deceive, disappoint" (see false). The -l- was restored 1400s, probably in imitation of L., but was not pronounced till 18c. Sense of "physical defect" is from early 14c.; that of "mora… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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