domino effect


Definition of domino effect 

: a cumulative effect produced when one event initiates a succession of similar events — compare ripple effect

Examples of domino effect in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Controls between Germany and Austria, as well between Austria and Italy, where hundreds of thousands of migrants initially arrived, could trigger a domino effect inside an EU already on edge over the migrant question. James Mcauley,, "Pressure mounts as Germany's Merkel fine-tunes immigration compromise," 3 July 2018 This domino effect can also cause your airways to churn out more mucus than normal. Korin Miller, SELF, "What’s an Asthma Exacerbation? (Because It Sounds Really Scary.)," 11 July 2018 From this film, viewers will see a never-ending domino effect on agriculture's effect on the environment, quality in produce and overall health of the animals and the humans that consume them. Samantha Incorvaia, azcentral, "'Eating Animals' effectively analyzes traditional, industrial farming changes," 28 June 2018 There are so many wonderful domino effects that happen when somebody volunteers with a community. Gwendolyn Purdom, RedEye Chicago, "Do good giving community groups added volunteer support with Chicago Cares," 11 Apr. 2018 Tavares' signing led to a domino effect in player movement. John Wawrow, Houston Chronicle, "Homeward bound: Star center John Tavares chooses Maple Leafs," 1 July 2018 Although migrant arrivals in Germany have plummeted, Mr Seehofer wanted to turn back from the southern frontier asylum-seekers registered in other countries, an action that could have triggered a domino effect of border controls elsewhere. The Economist, "How policy debates in Europe become untethered from reality," 12 July 2018 But the domino effect of James’ decision will be a factor in that matter too. Sarah Todd,, "LeBron James' exit to Lakers is a hit to Eastern Conference, but could clear the way for the Sixers," 1 July 2018 Launch a domino effect that improves women’s confidence, boosts their health, gets them better jobs, and more? Amy Keller Laird, Allure, "Miss America's Bikini Ban Is a Good Step, But It's Not Enough," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'domino effect.' 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 domino effect

1966, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for domino effect

The first known use of domino effect was in 1966

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More Definitions for domino effect

domino effect


English Language Learners Definition of domino effect

: a situation in which one event causes a series of similar events to happen one after another

More from Merriam-Webster on domino effect

See words that rhyme with domino effect Encyclopedia article about domino effect

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What made you want to look up domino effect? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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