from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Capable of compensating automatically and safely for a failure, as of a mechanism or power source.
  • adjective Acting to discontinue a military attack on the occurrence of any of various predetermined conditions.
  • adjective Guaranteed not to fail.
  • noun A fail-safe mechanism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective That doesn't cause undue damage, in the event of failure.
  • noun A fail-safe device or mechanism.
  • verb To compensate automatically, in the event of a failure.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective eliminating danger by compensating automatically for a failure or malfunction
  • noun a mechanism capable of returning to a safe state in case there is a failure or malfunction
  • adjective guaranteed not to fail


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