From Middle English faute, faulte, from Anglo-Norman faute, Old French faute, from Vulgar Latin *fallita (“shortcoming”), feminine of *fallitus, in place of Latin falsus, perfect passive participle of fallō (“deceive”). Displaced native Middle English schuld, schuild (“fault”) (from Old English scyld (“fault”)), Middle English lac (“fault, lack”) (from Middle Dutch lak (“lack, fault”)), Middle English last (“fault, vice”) (from Old Norse lǫstr (“fault, vice, crime”)). Compare French faute (“fault, foul”), Portuguese falta (“lack, shortage”) and Spanish falta (“lack, absence”). More at fail, false.
fault (plural faults)
- A defect; something that detracts from perfection.
- A mistake or error.
- A weakness of character; a failing.
- A minor offense.
- Blame; the responsibility for a mistake.
- (seismology) A fracture in a rock formation causing a discontinuity.
- (mining) In coal seams, coal rendered worthless by impurities in the seam.
- (tennis) An illegal serve.
- (electrical) An abnormal connection in a circuit.
- (obsolete) want; lack
- (hunting) A lost scent; act of losing the scent.
fault (third-person singular simple present faults, present participle faulting, simple past and past participle faulted)
- (transitive) To criticize, blame or find fault with something or someone.
- (intransitive, geology) To fracture.
- (intransitive) To commit a mistake or error.
- (intransitive, computing) To undergo a page fault.