“Failure” is a common word – one commonly understood by the layperson. Something broke, and some broader system stopped functioning as a result. My pencil broke, so I can’t write words (I can’t hold the pencil nub). My car’s lug nuts sheared and the tire fell off, so it doesn’t work as a car anymore. There’s a hole in my shoe, and now if I step in a puddle, my foot gets wet.