2

Positively I'm using completed or success (I don't want to use successful) together with the word challenge.

Now I'm looking for the negative equivalent. However I can't use unsuccess because that doesn't exist. (And not unsuccessful either because I don't want to use successful)

I don't want to use incomplete either because that implies the challenge is still open for completion and I don't want to imply that.

I don't want to use failure either because some people could read that as "(you are a) failure".

  • I cannot think of anything except fail. – mplungjan Dec 3 '13 at 15:43
  • Could you give us some context? What are you describing with these words? How can completed be equivalent to success? Why not use successful? – terdon Dec 3 '13 at 16:32
  • you could use "hit" and "missed"? – Hellion Dec 3 '13 at 16:39
  • 1
    Sounds like you're looking for a euphemism like "differently successful"...let'em get over it, if they failed. – JeffSahol Dec 3 '13 at 18:18
  • Perhaps unfulfilled, unsatisfied, left hanging, left on the table – James Waldby - jwpat7 Dec 3 '13 at 18:31
3

If you are indeed using this word to describe challenges and are looking for the opposite of successful challenges, I would go for failed challenges.

The verb fail does not necessarily refer to the person who made the attempt, it can just as well refer to the attempt itself:

Police slam man's failed attempt to bike across Cook Strait [1]

Valley Police Beat: 10 arrested after failed attempt to drive across border [2]

However, you should bear in mind that a successful challenge is not one that you successfully met, it is one that successfully challenged you. If I were to be pedantic here I would understand it in fact as a challenge that you failed since the challenge itself was successful. Personally, I would change both instances to:

Challenges met

Challenges failed

Or,to make it even clearer that you are not slighting the person (unnecessary in my opinion, but your call):

Met challenges

Failed challenges

  • I'm gonna go with challenge met and challenge failed. Seems the best option so far. – Bentley4 Dec 3 '13 at 21:57
1

It's not one word, but 'fall short' comes to mind. It implies that you faced a challenge and tried to meet it, but did not succeed.

In his fifth attempt, Jack challenged himself to break his previous endurance record. He fell short by only two hours.

1

You could try expired.

The challenge expired before it could be successfully completed.

1

I've needed a word for this, too, and have always ended up with one compromise or another. I find that one dictionary may confer legitimacy to an unconventional affix that others do not. The following are listed in roughly descending order of my personal preference at this moment.

  • forfeiture, forfeit
  • scratching (as in billiards)
  • blanking (as in drawing a blank, blanking out, or doing nothing)
  • zilching (or a derivative of another informal vernacular for zero)
  • unachievement, nonachievement, underachievement
  • unaccomplishment, nonaccomplishment
  • unfulfillment, nonfulfillment
  • miss, missing
  • fault, default
  • reneging, renege (the meaning shifts with renegation)
  • abandonment
  • loss, defeat, despair
  • fouling (as in a foul ball)
  • scrapping, scraping, scrubbing
  • disappointment
  • abortion, termination, nullification, annulment
  • unmet, ineffective, ineffectual, feckless, fruitless, bootless, futile
0

My first few choices are - the defeated, the vanquished.

As for a one word noun - a loser, a nonperformer, and an underachiever.

A few more compound words (they have their own entries in dictionaries) are - a lost cause, and a lame duck.

  • But that points to the person who took on the challenge, I want the word to point to the attempt of succeeding in the challenge. – Bentley4 Dec 3 '13 at 17:38
  • Do you mean he quit before even trying? – Damkerng T. Dec 3 '13 at 17:40
  • No. Simply that an attempt was made to succeed but the person was not able to do it in the allotted time. – Bentley4 Dec 3 '13 at 17:42
  • I think nonperformer and underachiever are quite close to your criteria. – Damkerng T. Dec 3 '13 at 18:06
  • That again points to the person rather then the attempt. – Bentley4 Dec 3 '13 at 18:21
0

It's not one word but (challenge is) met - (challenge is) not met seems to be the best option I can come up with so far. But it's probably less clear for a non-native speaker to understand then something like unsuccessful (while not being correct).

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