Pronunciation: (fôlt), [key]
1. a defect or imperfection; flaw; failing: a fault in the brakes; a fault in one's character.
2. responsibility for failure or a wrongful act: It is my fault that we have not finished.
3. an error or mistake: a fault in addition.
4. a misdeed or transgression: to confess one's faults.
5. Sports.(in tennis, handball, etc.)
a. a ball that when served does not land in the proper section of an opponent's court.
b. a failure to serve the ball according to the rules, as from within a certain area.
6. Geol., Mining.a break in the continuity of a body of rock or of a vein, with dislocation along the plane of the fracture (fault plane).
7. Manège.(of a horse jumping in a show) any of a number of improper executions in negotiating a jump, as a tick, knockdown, refusal, or run-out.
8. Elect.a partial or total local failure in the insulation or continuity of a conductor or in the functioning of an electric system.
9. Hunting.a break in the line of scent; a losing of the scent; check.
10. Obs.lack; want.
11. at fault,
a. open to censure; blameworthy: to be at fault for a mistake.
b. in a dilemma; puzzled: to be at fault as to where to go.
c. (of hounds) unable to find the scent.
12. find fault, to seek and make known defects or flaws; complain; criticize: He constantly found fault with my behavior.
13. to a fault, to an extreme degree; excessively: She was generous to a fault.
1. to commit a fault; blunder; err.
2. Geol.to undergo faulting.
1. Geol.to cause a fault in.
2. to find fault with, blame, or censure.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.