A permanent change in the volume of a powder or the stresses within it.
Condition caused by collapse, break, or bending, so that a structure or structural element can no longer fulfill its purpose.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
A condition when a structure or material ceases to fulfill its required purpose. The failure of a structural member may be caused by elastic deformation, fracture, or excessive deflection. The nonstructural failure of a material may be due to weathering, abrasion, or chemical action.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
FailureArmy Bomb Plot
attempted assassination of Hitler; his miraculous escape brought dreadful retaliation (1944). [Ger. Hist.: Van Doren, 500]
comic strip character for whom losing is a way of life. [Comics: “Peanuts” in Horn, 542–543]
financially disastrous cross-country marathon. [Am. Hist.: Sann, 48–56]
broken-spirited man occupying subordinate position. [Br. Lit.: Dombey and Son]
much bruited automobile fails on market (1950s). [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 78]
contentious and unloved salesman; commits suicide in despair. [Am. Lit.: Appointment in Samarra]
Little Tramp Chaplin’s
attempt to blow up the Parliament building; led to the execution of its leader, Guy Fawkes (1605). [Brit. Hist.: EB, IV: 70–71]
much-loved, much-imitated hapless, “I’m a failure” persona. [Am. Cinema: Griffith, 79]
traveling salesman who gradually comes to realize that his life has been a complete failure; commits suicide. [Am. Lit.: The Death of a Salesman, Payton, 397]
ignominiously strikes out in the clutch. [Am. Lit.: “Casey at the Bat” in Turkin, 642]
very promising writer who, after unsuccessful publication, returns to clerical job. [Br. Lit.: New Grub Street, Magill I, 647–649]
district of down-and-outs and bums. [Am. Usage: Brewer Dictionary, 1008]
President Ford’s scheme to reduce inflation: for the American public to wear shields stating “WIN.” (Whip Inflation Now). [Am. Hist.: Misc.]
“ingenious” creation of a third professional league that never materialized. [Am. Sports: Misc.]
steamship stoker vainly tries to climb the social ladder, then fails in attempt to avenge himself on society. [Am. Drama: O’Neill The Hairy Ape in Sobel, 339]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.