downfall

play
noun down·fall \ˈdau̇n-ˌfȯl\

Definition of downfall

  1. 1a :  a sudden fall (as from power)b :  a fall (as of snow or rain) especially when sudden or heavy

  2. 2 :  something that causes a downfall (as of a person) gambling was his downfall

downfallen

play \-ˌfȯ-lən\ adjective

Examples of downfall in a sentence

  1. Their downfall was the result of several bad decisions.

  2. Bad decision-making was their downfall.

13th Century

First Known Use of downfall

13th century


DOWNFALL Defined for English Language Learners

downfall

play
noun down·fall \ˈdau̇n-ˌfȯl\

Definition of downfall for English Language Learners

  • : a sudden loss of power, happiness, success, etc.

  • : something that causes failure


DOWNFALL Defined for Kids

downfall

play
noun down·fall \ˈdau̇n-ˌfȯl\

Definition of downfall for Students

  1. :  a sudden fall (as from power, happiness, or a high position) or the cause of such a fall the downfall of the Roman Empire Greed proved to be his downfall.

downfallen

\-ˌfȯl-ən\ adjective


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

an exhausted condition

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • peter-bruegel-tower-of-babel-painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!