cascade

noun
cas·cade | \ (ˌ)kas-ˈkād \

Definition of cascade 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a steep usually small fall of water especially : one of a series

2a : something arranged or occurring in a series or in a succession of stages so that each stage derives from or acts upon the product of the preceding blood clotting involves a biochemical cascade

b : a fall of material (such as lace) that hangs in a zigzag line and that is used especially in clothing and draperies

3 : something falling or rushing forth in quantity a cascade of sound a cascade of events Her hair was arranged in a cascade of curls.

cascade

verb
cascaded; cascading

Definition of cascade (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to fall, pour, or rush in or as if in a cascade The water cascaded over the rocks. Her hair cascaded down around her shoulders.

transitive verb

1 : to cause to fall like a cascade

2 : to connect in a cascade arrangement

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Synonyms for cascade

Synonyms: Noun

cataract, fall(s), waterfall

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Examples of cascade in a Sentence

Noun

Her hair was arranged in a cascade of curls. That decision set off a cascade of events.

Verb

The water cascades over the rocks. Her hair cascaded down around her shoulders.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The information emerging about the child-parent separations on the border that resulted from the Trump administration’s harsh immigration policy set off a cascade of emotion in recent weeks. Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post, "Time’s and New Yorker’s powerful covers make a statement on family separation," 21 June 2018 But the headmaster returned a week later with a cascade of more serious symptoms. David Mckenzie, CNN, "Fear and failure: How Ebola sparked a global health revolution," 26 May 2018 DeGeneres joined Legend at the end under a cascade of confetti. Abby Jones, Billboard, "John Legend Proves His Chrissy Teigen Knowledge, Jokes About Biting Beyonce: 'Who Wouldn't?'," 11 Apr. 2018 Soft ridges sloped down to the water in a subtle cascade of rocky knolls and tundra pockets. Longreads, "The Quest for the Collision Zone: An Arctic Expedition," 12 Mar. 2018 Inspired by the down-and-dirty music played at street parties and weddings, this new populist dance form combines a punk spirit with a hip-hop attitude set against a furious cascade of drums, bass and electronic vocals. Jesse Hamlin, San Francisco Chronicle, "Soviet propaganda art pertinent to today," 13 Feb. 2018 While work continues slowly on restoring power, the tremendous destruction has resulted in a cascade of further problems, including job losses, foreclosures, a decrease in neighborhood police presence and a resulting increase in violent crimes. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, "After Four Months, Much of Puerto Rico Still Dark and Damaged," 29 Jan. 2018 The water spills over a stone shelf in a narrow curtain just a few feet across, but its 50-foot (15-meter) freefall cascade is stunning. Hillary Speed, chicagotribune.com, "In Western North Carolina: Do go chasing waterfalls," 26 June 2018 The plaques also alert brain immune cells called microglia to the fact that something is wrong; these cells launch an immune cascade that kills even more neurons. Melinda Wenner Moyer, Scientific American, "Harder Evidence Builds that Viruses Play a Role in Alzheimer’s," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The loss of our nuclear plants would put our 1,600 nuclear plant employees out of work, with a cascading effect that would cost New Jersey 5,800 jobs statewide. David Roberts, Vox, "The latest state to get serious about climate change is ... New Jersey?," 20 Apr. 2018 In conditions so unforgiving, minor problems cascade into major threats and can get away from the most experienced captains. Earl Swift, Outside Online, "The Incredible True Story of the Henrietta C.," 20 June 2018 Alex Bregman drove a deep fly into the left-center gap that sent two runs trotting home and fireworks cascading over the train tracks for a 5-4 win. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Alex Bregman’s walk-off double gives Astros 12th straight win," 19 June 2018 Sunlight cascades down from the west wall and climbs up the east. Weldon Johnson, azcentral, "Summer solstice 2018 is June 21. Here's why the day is a big deal," 19 June 2018 In North America alone, there are hundreds of waterfalls dotting the landscape, some cascading at volumes of more than 3,000 tons of water per second (Niagara Falls), while others are little more than a constant trickle. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian, "North America’s Most Spectacular Waterfalls," 18 June 2018 An increase in nocturnality among certain species may also have far-reaching consequences for ecosystems, reshaping species interactions and cascading through food webs. Kaitlyn Gaynor, CNN, "To avoid humans, more wildlife now work the night shift," 14 June 2018 The actress wore an elaborate Atelier Versace look covered in draped strands of gold beads with a train of bold blue feathers cascading from the hem. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Blake Lively Already Picked Her Met Gala 2018 Dress​—​And It's Taken Over 600 Hours to Make," 16 Mar. 2018 Workers were using backhoes, jackhammers and chain saws to clear the debris in Montecito, nearly a week after a powerful storm sent flash floods cascading through mountain slopes that were burned bare by a huge wildfire in December. CBS News, "Southern California mudslides: 20 dead after crews recover body," 14 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cascade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cascade

Noun

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1702, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for cascade

Noun

French, from Italian cascata, from cascare to fall, from Vulgar Latin *casicare, from Latin casus fall

Verb

see cascade entry 1

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Statistics for cascade

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cascade

The first known use of cascade was in 1641

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More Definitions for cascade

cascade

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cascade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small, steep waterfall; especially : one that is part of a series of waterfalls

: a large amount of something that flows or hangs down

: a large number of things that happen quickly in a series

cascade

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cascade (Entry 2 of 2)

: to flow or hang down in large amounts

cascade

noun
cas·cade | \ ka-ˈskād \

Kids Definition of cascade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a steep usually small waterfall

cascade

verb
cascaded; cascading

Kids Definition of cascade (Entry 2 of 2)

: to flow or fall rapidly and in large quantity Tears cascaded from the baby's eyes.

cascade

noun
cas·cade | \ (ˌ)kas-ˈkād \

Medical Definition of cascade 

: a molecular, biochemical, or physiological process occurring in a succession of stages each of which is closely related to or depends on the output of the previous stage a cascade of enzymatic reactions the cascade of events comprising the immune response

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Comments on cascade

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occurring twice a year or every two years

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