Something that doesn't work the way it's supposed to is a dud. A bomb or firework that doesn't explode is one kind of dud. A bad blind date is another kind.

When a bomb fails to explode, it's a dud. A long-planned surprise party that fails miserably when the guest of honor doesn't show up is another kind of dud. You can also refer to a person as a dud, if he's an utter failure or a complete flop: "The lead actor was a total dud. He couldn't really sing or dance and he seemed nervous." In the 1800s, a dud was "a person in ragged clothing," from dudde, "cloak or mantle."

Definitions of dud
  1. noun
    an explosion that fails to occur
    synonyms: misfire
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    type of:
    breakdown, equipment failure
    a cessation of normal operation
  2. noun
    an event that fails badly or is totally ineffectual
    “the meeting was a dud as far as new business was concerned”
    synonyms: bomb, turkey
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    type of:
    bust, fizzle, flop
    a complete failure
  3. noun
    someone who is unsuccessful
    synonyms: flop, washout
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    type of:
    failure, loser, nonstarter, unsuccessful person
    a person with a record of failing; someone who loses consistently
  4. adjective
    failing to detonate; especially not charged with an active explosive
    “he stepped on a dud mine”
    (of weapons) not charged with ammunition
Word Family