AskDefine | Define fault

Dictionary Definition



1 responsibility for a bad situation or event; "it was John's fault"
2 (geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other; "they built it right over a geological fault" [syn: geological fault, shift, fracture, break]
3 the quality of being inadequate or falling short of perfection; "they discussed the merits and demerits of her novel"; "he knew his own faults much better than she did" [syn: demerit] [ant: merit]
4 a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention; "he made a bad mistake"; "she was quick to point out my errors"; "I could understand his English in spite of his grammatical faults" [syn: mistake, error]
5 an imperfection in a device or machine; "if there are any defects you should send it back to the manufacturer" [syn: defect, flaw]
6 (sports) a serve that is illegal (e.g., that lands outside the prescribed area); "he served too many double faults"
7 (electronics) equipment failure attributable to some defect in a circuit (loose connection or insulation failure or short circuit etc.); "it took much longer to find the fault than to fix it" v : put or pin the blame on [syn: blame] [ant: absolve]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • italbrac RP /fɔːlt/ or /fɒlt/, /fO:lt/
  • italbrac US /fɔːlt/ or /fɑːlt/
  • Rhymes with: -ɔːlt


From faute.


  1. A defect; something that detracts from perfection
  2. A mistake or error
  3. A weakness of character
  4. A minor offense
  5. Blame; the responsibility for a mistake
  6. (Geology) A fracture in a rock formation causing a discontinuity
  7. (Tennis) An illegal serve
  8. (electrical) An abnormal connection in a circuit.


  • Albanian: gabim , faj
  • Catalan: errada , culpa
  • Croatian: grješka, mana, krivnja
  • Czech: chyba
  • Esperanto: peko
  • French: défaut (1,3), faute (2, 4, 5, 7)
  • German: Fehler, Schuld
  • Hungarian: hiba
  • Italian: colpa
  • Portuguese: culpa
  • Romanian: hibă
  • Russian: ошибка
  • Slovak: chyba
  • Slovenian: hiba
  • Spanish: defecto, falla
  • Telugu: తప్పిదం (tappidaM)
geological fracture through rock
  • Croatian: rasjed
  • Dutch: breuk
  • French: faille
  • Japanese: (dansō)
  • Portuguese: falha
  • Spanish: falla


  1. To criticize, blame or find fault with something or someone.
  2. In the context of "intransitive|geology}} To fracture.

Extensive Definition

Fault may refer to:
  • Fault (geology), planar rock fractures which show evidence of relative movement
  • Fault (technology), an abnormal condition or defect at the component, equipment, or sub-system level which may lead to a failure
  • An asymmetric fault or symmetric fault in an electric power system
  • Fault (dog), in animal breeding, is a conformation point whose state or quality falls outside of the acceptable range for the attribute being judged
  • In tennis, a "fault" could be either a foot fault or a service fault, where an aspect of the server's serve is not in line with the rules of the game
  • Fault (legal), in criminal law, one must determine fault in a crime.
fault in French: Faute

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

aberrancy, aberration, abysm, abyss, accountability, accountable, accuse, answerability, answerable, arroyo, at fault, atrocity, bad habit, besetting sin, birthmark, blackhead, blame, blameworthy, bleb, blemish, blister, blunder, boner, boo-boo, boob, box canyon, breach, break, bug, bulla, call into question, call to account, canyon, carp at, catch, cavity, censure, chap, chasm, check, chimney, chink, cicatrix, cleft, clerical error, cleuch, clough, col, comedo, corrigendum, coulee, couloir, crack, cranny, crater, craze, crevasse, crevice, crime, crime against humanity, criticize, culpability, culpable, cut, cwm, deadly sin, defacement, defect, defection, defectiveness, deficiency, defile, deformation, deformity, delinquency, dell, delusion, demerit, dereliction, deviancy, dike, disfiguration, disfigurement, disproportionately, distortion, ditch, donga, draw, drawback, enormity, errancy, erratum, erroneousness, error, evil, excavation, exceedingly, excessively, extremely, failing, failure, fallaciousness, fallacy, falseness, falsity, faultiness, faute, faux pas, felony, find fault, fissure, flaw, flawedness, flume, foible, fracture, frailty, freckle, furrow, fuss, gaffe, gap, gape, gash, gaucherie, genocide, goof, gorge, groove, guilt, guilty, guilty act, gulch, gulf, gully, hamartia, heavy sin, hemangioma, heresy, heterodoxy, hickey, hole, howler, human error, illusion, immoderately, imperfection, impropriety, impugn, in the extreme, inadequacy, incision, indiscretion, inexpiable sin, infirmity, iniquity, injury, injustice, irrationally, joint, keloid, kink, kloof, knock, lapse, leak, lentigo, liability, liable, little problem, malefaction, malfeasance, malum, milium, minor wrong, misapplication, misapprehension, misbehavior, miscalculation, miscarriage, misconception, misconduct, misconstruction, miscount, misdeal, misdeed, misdemeanor, misdoing, misfeasance, misidentification, misinterpretation, misjudgment, misplay, misprint, misquotation, misreport, miss, misstatement, mistake, misunderstanding, misuse, moat, mole, moral flaw, mortal sin, needle scar, nevus, niggle, nonfeasance, notch, nullah, offense, omission, onus, opening, outrage, overly, oversight, pass, passage, peccadillo, peccancy, perversion, pick at, pick on, pimple, pit, pock, pockmark, port-wine mark, port-wine stain, problem, pustule, ravine, rent, responsibility, responsible, rift, rime, rupture, scab, scar, scissure, scratch, seam, sebaceous cyst, self-contradiction, shortcoming, sin, sin of commission, sin of omission, sinful act, sinfulness, slip, slit, slot, snag, something missing, split, strawberry mark, sty, taint, take exception to, to a fault, to blame, tort, track, transgression, trench, trespass, trip, twist, typo, typographical error, unduly, unorthodoxy, unreasonably, untrueness, untruth, untruthfulness, unutterable sin, valley, venial sin, verruca, vesicle, vice, void, vulnerable place, wadi, wale, warp, wart, weak link, weak point, weak side, weakness, weal, welt, wen, whitehead, wrong, wrongness
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