Difference Between Fault and Failure

Main Difference – Fault vs Failure

The two terms fault and failure cannot be used interchangeably since they have two different meanings. Fault is a mistake or error. Failure is the inability to achieve a certain goal. This is the main difference between fault and failure. It is important to note that failure can be caused by a small fault in a plan, machine, etc. In addition, a fault is comparatively smaller than a failure.

This article looks at,

1. What Does Fault Mean – Meaning and Usage of the Word Fault

2. What Does Failure Mean – Meaning and Usage of the Word Failure

3. What is the difference between Fault and FailureDifference Between Fault and Failure - Fault vs Failure Comparison Summary

What Does Fault Mean

Fault is a mistake or an error. Fault can also refer to a bad quality of someone or an unattractive or unsatisfactory feature in a piece of work that prevents it from being perfect. A fault can be caused by carelessness, ignorance, forgetfulness or misjudgment. The following sentences will help you to understand the meaning and usage of the noun failure better.

It’s your own fault that you failed the test.

Vanity is her worst fault.

A fault was later found in the machine.

The fire was caused by a fault in the electric circuit. 

It wasn’t anyone’s fault.

No one could find any fault in the machine.

Main Difference - Fault vs Failure

What Does Failure Mean

Failure is the opposite of success. It is the lack of success or the inability to achieve a desired goal. Failure can also refer to a failing to perform a duty or expected action.  For example, a student who wants to be an aerospace engineer is unable to fulfill his goal due to some circumstance. At the same time, failure can refer to the crash of a machine, plan, etc. as well . Given below are some sentences that contain the word failure.

He helped her to overcome her fear of failure.

Their plan was a complete failure.

The accident was caused by an engine failure.

He wasn’t used to failure.

Failure to use proper procedures is the main reason for this condition.

The failure to save his family drove him to commit suicide.

Difference Between Fault and Failure

Difference Between Fault and Failure


Fault is an error or mistake.

Failure is the lack of success.


Fault can be caused by ignorance, carelessness, misjudgment, etc.

Failure can be caused by a fault.

Size or Extent

Fault is comparatively smaller.

Failure is comparatively bigger.

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About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.