Legal Definition and Related Resources of Fault

Meaning of Fault

negligence , an error or defect of judgment or conduct ; any deviation from prudence or duty; any shortcoming or neglect t of care or performance resulting from inattention, incapacity or perversity.

Fault Alternative Definition

An improper act or omission, which arises from ignorance, carelessness, or negligence. The act or omission must not have been meditated, and must have caused some injury to another. Lee. Elm. § 783. See “Dolus;” “Negligence;” 1 Miles (Pa.) 40. Gross fault or neglect consists in not observing that care towards others which a man the least attentive usually takes of his own affairs. Such fault may, in some cases, afford a presumption of fraud, and in very gross cases it approaches so near as to be almost undistinguishable from it, especially when the facts seem hardly consistent with an honest intention. But there may be a gross fault without fraud. 2 Strange, 1099; Story, Bailm. §§ 18-22; TouUier, Dr. Civ. lib. 3, tit. 3, § 231. Ordinary faults consist in the omission of that care which mankind generally pay to their own concerns; that is, the want of ordinary diligence. A slight fault consists in the want of that care which very attentive persons take of their own affairs. This fault assimilates itself to, and in some cases is scarcely distinguishable from, mere accident or want of foresight. This division has been adopted by common lawyers from the civil law. Although the civilians generally agree in this division, yet they are not without a difference of opinion. See Pothier, Observation generale sur le precedent Traite, et sur les suivants, printed at the end of his Traite des Obligations, where he cites Accurse, Alciat, Cujas, Duaren, D’Avezan, Vinnius, and Heineccius in support of this division. On the other side the reader is referred to Thomasius, tom. 2, Dissertationem, page 1006; Le Brun, cited by Jones, Bailm. 27; and Toullier, Dr. Civ. liv. 3, tit. 3, § 231. In Maritime Law. “Fault” is the technical term for negligence, particularly that contributing to a collision of vessels. In the Law of Sale. Defects, of any kind. 29 N. H. 343; 12 Ired. (N. C.) 49.

Synonyms of Fault

(Mistake), noun

  • aberration
  • blunder
  • bungling
  • erratum
  • error
  • error of judgment
  • failing
  • false step
  • flaw
  • impropriety
  • inaccuracy
  • miscalculation
  • misjudgment
  • misstep
  • misunderstanding
  • omission
  • oversight
  • slip foreign phrases: Imperitia culpae adnumeratur
  • Unskillfulness is considered as negligence
  • Quod quis ex culpa sua damnum sentit non intettigitur damnum sentire
  • He who suffers a damage by his own fault is not considered to have suffered damage
  • Culpa tenet suos auctores
  • A fault binds its own authors
  • Magnanegligentia culpa est; magna culpa dolus est
  • Gross negligence is fault; gross fault is equivalent to a fraud

(Responsibility), noun

  • accountability
  • answerability
  • blame
  • cause for blame
  • culpa
  • culpability
  • delictum
  • delinquency
  • dereliction
  • liability
  • malefaction
  • misbehavior
  • misconduct
  • misdeed
  • misfeasance
  • negligence
  • peccatum
  • transgression Associated Concepts: comparative fault
  • contributory fault
  • contributory negligence
  • gross fault
  • with all faults
  • without faultforeign phrases: Culpa est immiscerese reladse non pertinenti
  • A person is at fault who intermeddles in matters not concerning him
  • Ejus nulla culpa est
  • cuiparere necesse sit
  • No guilt attaches to a person who is compelled to obey
  • In pari delicto potior est conditio possidentis
  • idefendentis
  • i Where the parties are equally guilty of wrongdoing
  • the defendant holds the stronger position

(Weakness), noun

  • debility
  • defect
  • deficiency
  • delicacy
  • devitalization
  • drawback
  • emasculation
  • failing
  • feebleness
  • flaw
  • foible
  • frailty
  • impairment
  • imperfection
  • impotence
  • impuissance
  • inadequacy
  • incapacity
  • infirmity
  • instability
  • insufficiency
  • lack of strength
  • loss of strength
  • powerlessness
  • shortcoming
  • vitiation
  • vulnerable point
  • weak point


  • accusare
  • accuse
  • admonish
  • animadvert
  • attack
  • berate
  • blame
  • bring into discredit
  • cast a slur upon
  • cast blame upon
  • castigate
  • censure
  • charge
  • chastise
  • chide
  • condemn
  • criticize
  • culpare
  • declaim against
  • decry
  • denigrate
  • denounce
  • deprecate
  • depreciate
  • disapprove
  • discommend
  • discountenance
  • disparage
  • dispraise
  • dress down
  • hold to blame
  • impeach
  • impugn
  • impute
  • remonstrate
  • reprehend
  • reprimand
  • reprove
  • scold
  • take to task
  • upbraid

Related Entries of Fault in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Fault in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Fault in Historical Law

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Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Fault in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

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Mentioned in these terms

Assumption Of Risk, Common Employment, Comparative Negligence, Contributory Negligence, , Duplicity, Exculpate, Exonerate, Imputation, Major And Minor Fault Rule, Neglect, Pennsylvania Rule, True Man D


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Related topics Fault in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Fault is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

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Fault is a negligent or intentional failure to act reasonably or according to law or duty. It is an improper act or omission causing injury to another.

Fault is a negligent or intentional failure to act reasonably or according to law or duty. It is an improper act or omission causing injury to another.




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