FAL uh bull (The first syllable rhymes with "pal," not "call.")
Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like "large" or "late."
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in "a fallible leader."
2. After a linking verb, as in "The leader was fallible.")
Someone or something fallible is imperfect: capable of making a mistake, or capable of being wrong.
The opposite word is also useful: "infallible" means perfect, totally unable to make a mistake and totally unable to be wrong.
Yes, these words are related to "fall" and "fail."
You might think of "fallible" as "able to fail" or "able to fall, figuratively."
fallibly, infallibly, fallibility, infallibility
How to use it:
Talk about fallible or infallible people, groups and teams, statements, information, ideas, notes and records and memories, theories and processes, assessments and predictions, diagnoses, tests, instruments, etc.
My student Daniel wrote an excellent argument about the fallibility of YOLO--the shortsighted idea that because "you only live once," you should take risks without regard for consequences.
I hope no one believes that tests like the ACT and SAT are infallible predictors of how well you'll do in college.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "fallible" means when you can explain it without saying “imperfect" or "flawed."
Think of a time you remembered something incorrectly or forgot something, and fill in the blank: "I wish my memory could be infallible, but I _____."
Example: "I wish my memory could be infallible, but I often mix up or even forget my family's birthdays and have to keep a cheat sheet of them."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Our game for July is called A Verbal Tour of the US. I’ll ask you a trivia question each day this month about the names of US cities, states, geographic features, etc. Try it out each day, and see the right answer the next day. Happy verbal trails to you!
Some anagrams for the name of this body of water include “Gale Latest Ark” and “At Largest Leak.” I like those! They seem to be poetic and very vaguely appropriate descriptions for this ever-changing body of water. What is it called?
Answer: Great Salt Lake. Because of its shallowness, its actual size in terms of square miles fluctuates quite a lot.
Try this one today:
Maybe you’re a Coloradan/Coloradoan, a Connecticuter/Connecticutian, or an Idahoan. What’s the name for terms like these—words for the people who live in a certain place? Clue: this word’s two roots are Greek and mean “people” + “word/name.”
A Point Well Made:
Mark Twain: “An uneasy conscience is a hair in in the mouth.”
1. Besides INFALLIBLE, another opposite of FALLIBLE is
2. _____ point to the infallibility of her theory.
A. Several miscalculations
B. Quite a few detractors
C. Vast accumulations of evidence
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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