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The problem of adaptive fault-tolerant dynamic surface control (DSC) for a class of high-order nonlinear uncertain systems with actuator fault is discussed, and a novel design scheme of adaptive fuzzy controller is proposed in this paper. First, the approach removes the condition that the upper or low boundary of fault is known. Moreover, the problem of explosion of complexity in traditional backstepping design is overcome by introducing the first order filter, and the possible controller singularity in feedback linearization is avoided without projection algorithm. In addition, the approach removes the assumption that the control coefficients are known exactly or unknown but lower bounded by known positive constants. By theoretical analysis, the closed-loop systems is shown to be semi-globally uniformly ultimately bounded, with tracking errors converging to a small neighborhood of origin by appropriately choosing design constants. Finally, simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.