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Failure is a consequence of a change in the parameters of a device or of its parts, resulting from internal physicochemical processes and the effect of the environment.
A distinction is made between sudden failure and gradual failure. Sudden failure is characterized by an abrupt change in the values of one or more fundamental parameters of a device (for example, the burnout of the incandescent filament in an electric lamp); in gradual failure, there is a slow change in the values of one or more fundamental parameters of a device (for example, the decrease of engine power to a level below the rated power). The criteria for failure are established in the technical specifications for a particular item.
As a result of failure, a device may stop operating completely, or its operating efficiency may fall below the permissible level. Failure of an element in a device that is not caused by damage to other elements is called independent failure; failure resulting from damage or the complete failure of other elements is called dependent failure.
V. N. FOMIN
What does it mean when you dream about a failure?
Dreaming about failing, in school or in some task, may simply be an expression of anxiety (i.e., it is not a sign predicting that someone will fail). People who regularly dream of failing are often perfectionists.