failure-n; 6 Senses

Sense Number 1: an unsuccessful effort to do something

Commentary: FAILURE[+action][+effort][-successful]
NOTE: nominalization - his failure to win - he failed to win
NOTE: implies an attempt was made, but did not succeed

We were all shocked at John's failure of the entrance exam.
Their failure to agree on a treaty has led to another outbreak of violence in the region.
His failure to win the primary made him decide to drop out of the race.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1

Sense Number 2: a deficiency, state of disappointment, non-achievement

Commentary: FAILURE[+state][+deficiency][+goal]
NOTE: refers to a resulting or existing state, not an action that fails (Sense 1)

Are all our efforts going to be doomed to failure?
The drought has caused widespread crop failures.
The company has learned from its previous failures and has gained some market share.
They have finally realized that their marriage is a failure.
Critics said the soprano's operatic debut was not a total failure.
The dinner was a failure because the roast was overcooked.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 2, 3

Sense Number 3: a person who is a non-starter, non-achiever

Commentary: FAILURE[+entity][+person][-achiever]
NOTE: refers to a person

Mary would never tell Bob that he was a failure as a father.
Bob felt like a failure when he got laid off from his job.
Both artists were failures in their own lifetimes and only appreciated much later.
This greyhound was a failure on the race tracks. (extension to animals)

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 4

Sense Number 4: a state of omission, lacking

Commentary: FAILURE[+state][+omission]
NOTE: Implies an effort was -not- attempted, so opposite of Sense 1 Nominalization: their failure to call us - they failed to call us

Their failure to return our call was perceived as a lack of interest.
The company is being sued for failure to comply with certain safety regulations.
The country's failure to perceive the growing menace may end in disaster.
The only thing holding them back is a failure of imagination.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 5

Sense Number 5: a bankruptcy, financial insolvency

Commentary: FAILURE[+state][+financial][+bankruptcy]
NOTE: a specialized sense referring to legal bankruptcy

Economists have noted an increasing number of bank failures this quarter.
John gave up on the restaurant business after two business failures.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 6

Sense Number 6: a loss of function

Commentary: FAILURE[+state][+loss][+function]

The coroner determined the cause of death was heart failure.
Several cities had power failures from the ice storm.
Hallucinations can actually be a symptom of kidney failure.
The plane made an emergency landing after an engine failure.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 7