fail safe

fail safe
fail safe
To revert to a safe condition in the event of failure
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Main Entry:fail

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fail-safe «FAYL SAYF», adjective, verb, -safed, -saf|ing. or failed-, fail|ing-.
–adj.
1. having a built-in safety device that is automatically activated to protect the operator from injury or its parts from damage, in case of power failure or malfunction of some part of the machine: »

A fail-safe reel brake prevents accidental spilling of tape in case of power failure (Science News). The authority said that subway trains were equipped with a fail-safe device that halts the train automatically if the brakes fail (New York Times).

2. guaranteed no to fail; safe from failure; foolproof: »

A master plan was worked out, beautifully turned and fail-safe on paper (Manchester Guardian Weekly).

–v.i.
to stop or alter an operation automatically in case of some malfunction or power failure: »

Those with gas central heating will have cursed the irony of a system which fails-safe when the electrical power supply is severed (Anthony Tucker).

–v.t.
to make or cause to be fail-safe.
[< Fail Safe]
Fail Safe,
a procedure of the U.S. Strategic Air Command in which a bomber may not proceed toward its target beyond a certain point until a final affirming order has been issued: »

And even beyond Fail Safe point and all the way to bomb-drop point, the war order can be reversed and the aircraft called home (Time).


Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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  • fail-safe — ► ADJECTIVE 1) causing machinery to revert to a safe condition in the event of a breakdown. 2) unlikely or unable to fail …   English terms dictionary

  • fail-safe — [fāl′sāf΄] adj. [ FAIL, v. + SAFE, adj.] designating, of, or involving a procedure designed to prevent malfunctioning or unintentional operation, often specif. of nuclear armed aircraft, through an intricate system of protective devices …   English World dictionary

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  • fail-safe — I noun a mechanism capable of returning to a safe state in case there is a failure or malfunction • Hypernyms: ↑mechanism II adjective 1. guaranteed not to fail a fail safe recipe for cheese souffle • Similar to: ↑secure …   Useful english dictionary

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