see also: Fall
Pronunciation Noun


  1. The act of moving to a lower position under the effect of gravity.
  2. A reduction in quantity, pitch, etc.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter I, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803 ↗:
      “I'm through with all pawn-games,” I laughed. “Come, let us have a game of lansquenet. Either I will take a farewell fall out of you or you will have your sevenfold revenge”.
  3. (chiefly, North America, obsolete elsewhere) The time of the year when the leaves typically fall from the trees; autumn; the season of the year between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice. [from 16th c.]
  4. A loss of greatness or status.
    the fall of Rome
  5. That which falls or cascades.
  6. (sport) A crucial event or circumstance.
    1. (cricket, of a wicket) The action of a batsman being out.
    2. (curling) A defect in the ice which causes stones thrown into an area to drift in a given direction.
    3. (wrestling) An instance of a wrestler being pinned to the mat.
  7. A hairpiece for women consisting of long strands of hair on a woven backing, intended primarily to cover hair loss.
  8. (informal, US) Blame or punishment for a failure or misdeed.
    He set up his rival to take the fall.
  9. The part of the rope of a tackle to which the power is applied in hoisting (usu. plural).
    Have the goodness to secure the falls of the mizzen halyards.
  10. An old Scots unit of measure equal to six ells.
  11. A short, flexible piece of leather forming part of a bullwhip, placed between the thong and the cracker.
  12. The lid, on a piano, that covers the keyboard
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms

  • accidental fall
  • angle of fall
  • ash fall, ashfall
  • backfall

Translations Translations Translations Verb

fall (falls, present participle falling; past fell, past participle fallen)

  1. (heading, intransitive) To be moved downwards.
    1. To move to a lower position under the effect of gravity.
      Thrown from a cliff, the stone fell 100 feet before hitting the ground.
      • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter II, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546 ↗; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., […], [1933], OCLC 2666860 ↗, page 0091 ↗:
        There was a neat hat-and-umbrella stand, and the stranger's weary feet fell soft on a good, serviceable dark-red drugget, which matched in colour the flock-paper on the walls.
    2. To come down, to drop or descend.
      The rain fell at dawn.
      • 1920, Herman Cyril McNeile, Bulldog Drummond, Ch.1:
        Her eyes fell on the table, and she advanced into the room wiping her hands on her apron.
    3. To come to the ground deliberately, to prostrate oneself.
      He fell to the floor and begged for mercy.
    4. To be brought to the ground.
  2. (transitive) To move downwards.
    1. (obsolete) To let fall; to drop.
      • 1594, William Shakespeare, Lvcrece (First Quarto), London: Printed by Richard Field, for Iohn Harrison, […], OCLC 236076664 ↗:
        For every tear he falls, a Trojan bleeds.
    2. (obsolete) To sink; to depress.
      to fall the voice
    3. (UK, US, dialect, archaic) To fell; to cut down.
      to fall a tree
  3. (intransitive) To happen, to change negatively.
    1. (copulative) To become.
      She has fallen ill.  The children fell asleep in the back of the car.  When did you first fall in love?
      • 1855 December – 1857 June, Charles Dickens, chapter 1, in Little Dorrit, London: Bradbury and Evans, […], published 1857, OCLC 83401042 ↗, book the first (Poverty), page 27 ↗:
        At length they stood at the corner from which they had begun, and it had fallen quite dark, and they were no wiser.
    2. To occur (on a certain day of the week, date, or similar); said of an instance of a recurring event such as a holiday or date.
      Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday.  Last year, Commencement fell on June 3.
    3. (intransitive) To collapse; to be overthrown or defeated.
      Rome fell to the Goths in 410 AD.
    4. (intransitive, formal, euphemistic) To die, especially in battle or by disease.
      This is a monument to all those who fell in the First World War.
    5. (intransitive) To become lower (in quantity, pitch, etc.).
      The candidate's poll ratings fell abruptly after the banking scandal.
    6. (followed by a determining word or phrase) To become; to be affected by or befallen with a calamity; to change into the state described by words following; to become prostrated literally or figuratively (see Usage notes below).
      Our senator fell into disrepute because of the banking scandal.
  4. (intransitive) To be allotted to; to arrive through chance, fate, or inheritance.
    And so it falls to me to make this important decision.  The estate fell to his brother; the kingdom fell into the hands of his rivals.
    • 1712 May, [Alexander Pope], “The Rape of the Locke. An Heroi-comical Poem.”, in Miscellaneous Poems and Translations. By Several Hands, London: Printed for Bernard Lintott […], OCLC 228744960 ↗, canto II:
      If to her share some female errors fall, / Look on her face, and you'll forget them all.
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To diminish; to lessen or lower.
    • 1691, John Locke, Some Considerations of the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and the Raising the Value of Money
      Upon lessening interest to four per cent, you fall the price of your native commodities.
  6. (transitive, obsolete) To bring forth.
    to fall lambs
  7. (intransitive, obsolete) To issue forth into life; to be brought forth; said of the young of certain animals.
  8. (intransitive) To descend in character or reputation; to become degraded; to sink into vice, error, or sin.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Hebrews 4:1 ↗:
      Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
  9. (intransitive) To become ensnared or entrapped; to be worse off than before.
    to fall into error;  to fall into difficulties
  10. (intransitive) To assume a look of shame or disappointment; to become or appear dejected; said of the face.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Genesis 4:5 ↗:
      Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
    • 1713, Joseph Addison, Cato, published 1712, [Act 1, scene 4]:
      I have observed of late thy looks are fallen.
  11. (intransitive) To happen; to come to pass; to chance or light (upon).
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Ruth 3:18 ↗:
      Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall.
    • 1596-97, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act I Scene 2
      […] An the worst fall that ever fell, I hope I shall make shift to go without him.
    • 1701, Jonathan Swift, A Discourse of the Contests and Dissensions between the Nobles and the Commons in Athens and Rome
      The Romans fell upon this model purely by chance.
    • Primitive men […] do not make laws, they fall into customs.
  12. (intransitive) To begin with haste, ardour, or vehemence; to rush or hurry.
    After arguing, they fell to blows.
    • (Thucydides)
      They now no longer doubted, but fell to work heart and soul.
  13. (intransitive) To be dropped or uttered carelessly.
    An unguarded expression fell from his lips.
  14. (intransitive, of a fabric) To hang down under the influence of gravity.
    An Empire-style dress has a high waistline – directly under the bust – from which the dress falls all the way to a hem as low as the floor.
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms

  • title=Terms related to fall (verb)
  • the apple does not fall far from the tree
  • the bigger they are, the harder they fall, the bigger they come, the harder they fall
  • the curtain falls

Translations Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: cair
  • Russian: па́дать
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Interjection
  1. (nautical) The cry given when a whale is sighted, or harpooned.

fall (plural falls)

  1. (nautical) The chasing of a hunted whale.

Proper noun
  1. (theology) The sudden fall of humanity into a state of sin, as brought about by the transgression of Adam and Eve. [from 14th c.]

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