failing-n; 2 Senses

Sense Number 1: a shortcoming, flaw

Commentary: FAILING[+quality][+shortcoming]
NOTE: often occurs in the plural

Mary is forgiving of her husband's failings as a chef.
Excessive narcissism is John's only real failing.
Creative geniuses often have social and emotional failings.
This theory has some serious failings despite its elegance.
Bob outlined what he perceived to be the failings of the health care system.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1

Sense Number 2: not achieving a goal, not succeeding

Commentary: FAILING[+state][-achieve][+goal]
NOTE: nominalization His failing of the exam - he failed the exam
NOTE: does not naturally occur in the plural

His failing of the exam means John will have to take the course over.
Their failing to appreciate the dictator's goals led to an all-out war.
Sally is obsessed with her failing to make the Olympic swim team.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 2