fall

verb
\ ˈfȯl How to pronounce fall (audio) \
fell\ ˈfel How to pronounce fell (audio) \; fallen\ ˈfȯ-​lən How to pronounce fallen (audio) \; falling

Definition of fall

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to descend freely by the force of gravity An apple fell from the tree.
b : to hang freely her hair falls over her shoulders
c : to drop oneself to a lower position fell to his knees
d : to come or go as if by falling darkness falls early in the winter
2 : to become born usually used of lambs
3a : to become lower in degree or level the temperature fell 10°
b : to drop in pitch or volume their voices fell to a whisper
c : issue sense 1a wisdom that fell from his lips
d : to become lowered her eyes fell
4a : to leave an erect position suddenly and involuntarily slipped and fell on the ice
b : to enter as if unawares : stumble, stray fell into error We fell into a trap.
c : to drop down wounded or dead especially : to die in battle Many men fell on the battlefield.
d : to suffer military capture after a long siege the city fell
e : to lose office the party fell from power
f : to suffer ruin, defeat, or failure the deal fell through
5 : to commit an immoral act but man willfully misused his God-given freedom and fell into sin— John Hick especially : to lose one's chastity
6a : to move or extend in a downward direction the land falls away to the east
b : subside, abate the wind is falling
c : to decline in quality, activity, or quantity production fell off
d : to lose weight used with off or awayThe cattle have fallen off badly in the drought.
e : to assume a look of shame, disappointment, or dejection his face fell
f : to decline in financial value or price stocks fell sharply
7a : to occur at a certain time her birthday falls on a Monday this year
b : to come by chance a job that fell into his hands
c : to come or pass by lot, assignment, or inheritance : devolve it fell to him to break the news
d : to have a certain or proper position, place, or station the accent falls on the second syllable
8 : to come within the limits, scope, or jurisdiction of something this word falls into the class of verbs
9 : to pass suddenly and passively into a state of body or mind or a new state or condition fall asleep fall in love
10 : to set about heartily or actively fell to work
11 : strike, impinge music falling on the ear
fall all over oneself or fall over oneself or fall over backward
: to display great or excessive eagerness Fans were falling all over themselves trying to get the basketball star's autograph.
fall apart
1 : disintegrate The pie was falling apart as I served it.
2 : to succumb to mental or emotional stress : break down She began to fall apart when her son was imprisoned.
fall behind
1 : to lag behind The slower hikers fell behind the group.
2 : to be in arrears He fell behind in his car payments.
fall between two stools
: to fail because of inability to choose between or reconcile two alternative or conflicting courses of action
fall flat
: to produce no response or result the joke fell flat
fall for
1 : to fall in love with He fell for her the moment he saw her.
2 : to become a victim of fell for the trick
fall from grace
: to lose acceptance or good reputation The governor fell from grace when he was accused of tax fraud.
fall home
: to curve inward used of the timbers or upper parts of a ship's side
fall into line
: to comply with a certain course of action The company fell into line with the new regulations.
fall on or fall upon
: to meet with fell on hard times
fall on one's face
: to fail utterly the movie fell on its face at the box office
fall on one's sword
: to sacrifice one's pride or position The coach fell on his sword apologizing for the team's poor season.
fall short
1 : to be deficient The expedition's supplies began to fall short.
2 : to fail to attain something (such as a goal or target) The results fell short of expectations.

fall

noun

Definition of fall (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the act of falling by the force of gravity
2a : a falling out, off, or away : dropping the fall of leaves a fall of snow
b : the season when leaves fall from trees : autumn
c : a thing or quantity that falls or has fallen a fall of rock at the base of the cliff especially : one or more meteorites or their fragments that have fallen together
d(1) : birth
(2) : the quantity born usually used of lambs
3a : a costume decoration of lace or thin fabric arranged to hang loosely and gracefully
b : a very wide turned-down collar worn in the 17th century
c : the part of a turnover collar from the crease to the outer edge
d : a wide front flap on trousers (such as those worn by sailors)
e : the freely hanging lower edge of the skirt of a coat
f : one of the three outer and often drooping segments of the flower of an iris
g : long hair overhanging the face of dogs of some breeds
h : a usually long straight portion of hair that is attached to a person's own hair
4 : a hoisting-tackle rope or chain especially : the part of it to which the power is applied
5a : loss of greatness : collapse the fall of the Roman Empire
b : the surrender or capture of a besieged place the fall of Troy
c : lapse or departure from innocence or goodness
d : loss of a woman's chastity
e : the blame for a failure or misdeed took the fall for the robbery
6a : the downward slope (as of a hill) : declivity
b : a precipitous descent of water : waterfall usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction
c : a musical cadence
d : a falling-pitch intonation in speech
7 : a decrease in size, quantity, degree, or value
8a : the distance which something falls
9a : the act of felling something
b : the quantity of trees cut down
c(1) : an act of forcing a wrestler's shoulders to the mat for a specified time (such as one second)
(2) : a bout of wrestling
10 Scotland : destiny, lot

Definition of fall (Entry 3 of 3)

: of, relating to, or suitable for autumn a new fall coat

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for fall

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of fall in a Sentence

Verb An apple fell from the tree. A vase fell off the shelf. Rain fell from the sky. the sound of the falling rain She slipped and fell on the ice. He fell flat on his face. She was afraid that I would trip and fall. He fell down the stairs. One of the sailors had fallen overboard. He fell back onto the bed. Noun a fall from a horse She's had several bad falls in recent years. a fall of three feet the rise and fall of the tide She went off to college in the fall. Several weeks of fall remain before winter begins. When fall came he planted grass. a fall in the price of oil
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, an advocacy group, said U.S. schools fall into three broad types. Washington Post, "Virginia legislators want schools to ease the suffering of transgender students," 11 Jan. 2020 Details like this keep the entire movie from coming off as simple stenography—a trap that many biopics fall into and that’s sometimes a problem for Just Mercy. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Strength of Just Mercy Is Also Its Weakness," 10 Jan. 2020 South fell into its predicament when it was outscored 13-9 in the first period and couldn’t get much traction in the second and third periods. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Pearland South 7A ups district record to 5-0 after toppling Fairmont Junior High," 10 Jan. 2020 The hunters removed the grill grates and moved debris around so nobody would fall into it. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "Estranged husband of Connecticut mom Jennifer Dulos has been released on bond," 9 Jan. 2020 But don't fall into the trap of thinking these are merely physical freaks thriving due to sub-4.5 40 speed and eight-pack abs. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "More than muscle: Rookie receivers DK Metcalf, A.J. Brown succeeding for reasons far beyond physiques," 9 Jan. 2020 The rest of the writers at PolitiFact and the AP and so on need not fall into the same trap. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "How Political Fact-Checkers Distort the Truth," 8 Jan. 2020 Aviation specialists believe a missile may be to blame for the fiery crash of a Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737 that fell into pieces over Tehran, Iran late Tuesday night. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "Aviation experts say missile or 'bomb on board' may have downed Ukrainian plane in Iran," 8 Jan. 2020 As physical capabilities and income declines, homes often fall into disrepair. Elizabeth Montgomery, azcentral, "'I can't describe the joy I felt': Nonprofit helps people stay in their homes and Republic readers helped," 8 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Helena: Urban deer culling for the fall and winter seasons was suspended by city officials amid budget cuts. USA TODAY, "Gray whale tows calf, wolves on the move, John Dillinger won’t be exhumed; News from around our 50 states," 11 Jan. 2020 The 2020 Trump campaign began discussing the airtime with Fox back in the fall and reserved time officially last month. NBC News, "Super Bowl ad wars: It's Bloomberg vs. Trump, and they're spending millions," 7 Jan. 2020 In fall and winter, the charity Grupo Tortuguero collects and incubates eggs. Dallas News, "Spectacular scenery and a small-town vibe make Todos Santos a calming Mexico getaway," 6 Jan. 2020 On Form If sneakers, loafers, or flat boots have been your go-to shoe for fall and winter, give the platform sandal a try this spring for as little as $64. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Spring Ahead! You Can Shop These 2020 Accessory Trends Now for a Fraction of the Price," 31 Dec. 2019 Fat Head's multiple fall and winter seasonal beers G’Suffa Oktoberfest, Spooky Tooth Imperial Pumpkin, Holly Jolly Christmas Ale and Pimp My Sleigh Belgian-style Christmas Ale also are slated to return. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Fat Head’s Brewery’s 2020 beer-release calendar includes mystery brew, return of favorites," 19 Dec. 2019 The rink runs public skating hours in the fall and winter from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays and 2 to 4 p.m. weekends. Steven Martinez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Check out these 6 cheap (or free) indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks in the Milwaukee suburbs," 18 Dec. 2019 Super-deep repertoire of falls and flails, plus a classic crybaby Flop Face. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "From Goliath to James Harden: The best floppers of all time," 18 Dec. 2019 The boy's physician said the child's injuries were not consistent with a fall and a level of force was involved in the injuries, according to the affidavit. Arkansas Online, "Arkansas man sentenced to 30 years in prison for injuring infant," 16 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective While fall isn’t quite here yet (the season officially starts in three days, even though Walmart decor indicates otherwise), what is here is fall festival season. al, "Alabama Fair Food: Pickle Pizza, Gator on a Stick and Fried Snickers in Birmingham," 20 Sep. 2019 The right-wing Law and Justice party wants to strengthen its position before fall parliamentary elections. Washington Post, "EU’s Tusk queried in Poland over his past policy as premier," 17 June 2019 Read more about Macron’s moment of truth on his labor law: QuickTake Q&A Macron’s popularity has declined precipitously ahead of France’s traditional fall protest season. Mark Deen, Bloomberg.com, "French Unions Fail to Draw Big Crowds Against Macron Reform," 12 Sep. 2017 The battle for fall taste buds is now in full swing. Editors, USA TODAY, "The Vegas shooting, MH370: Sometimes there are no answers," 3 Oct. 2017 The improved health of local waters is highlighted by the now regular fall appearance of humpback whales feeding on large schools of Atlantic menhaden at the borders of New York harbor, within site of the Empire State Building. Mark Stoeckle, Smithsonian, "Scientists Can Tell What Fish Live Where Based On DNA in the Water," 13 Apr. 2017 Fall camp practices begin in Auburn today after players reported Sunday and there is much to be determined over the next five weeks. James Crepea, AL.com, "5 Auburn players with the most to gain during fall camp," 31 July 2017 As these vegetables play themselves out, switch gears and focus on fall vegetables. Debbie Arrington, sacbee, "Squash looking fried? Time to switch garden gears," 14 July 2017 The improved health of local waters is highlighted by the now regular fall appearance of humpback whales feeding on large schools of Atlantic menhaden at the borders of New York harbor, within site of the Empire State Building. Mark Stoeckle, Smithsonian, "Scientists Can Tell What Fish Live Where Based On DNA in the Water," 13 Apr. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of fall

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1677, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fall

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

Middle English, from Old English feallan; akin to Old High German fallan to fall and perhaps to Lithuanian pulti

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fall

Time Traveler for fall

Time Traveler

The first known use of fall was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for fall

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fall.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fall. Accessed 21 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fall

fall

verb
How to pronounce fall (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fall

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to come or go down quickly from a high place or position
: to come or go down suddenly from a standing position
: to let yourself come or go down to a lower position

fall

noun

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

: the act of coming or going down from a high position or from a standing position
: the act of becoming lower
US : the season between summer and winter : the season when leaves fall from trees

fall

verb
\ ˈfȯl How to pronounce fall (audio) \
fell\ ˈfel \; fallen\ ˈfȯ-​lən \; falling

Kids Definition of fall

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to come or go down freely by the force of gravity An apple fell from the tree.
2 : to come as if by falling Night fell before we got home.
3 : to become lower (as in degree or value) The temperature fell ten degrees.
4 : to topple from an upright position The tree fell.
5 : to collapse wounded or dead Too many soldiers have fallen in battle.
6 : to become captured The city fell to the enemy.
7 : to occur at a certain time This year my birthday falls on a Monday.
8 : to pass from one condition of body or mind to another fall asleep fall ill
fall back
: retreat entry 2 sense 1 “… the Witch and her crew will … fall back to her house and prepare for a siege.”— C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
fall short
: to fail to be as good or successful as expected The sequel to my favorite movie fell short.

fall

noun

Kids Definition of fall (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of going or coming down by the force of gravity a fall from a horse
2 : autumn
3 : a thing or quantity that falls a heavy fall of snow
4 : a loss of greatness : downfall the fall of an empire
5 : waterfall usually used in pl.Niagara Falls
6 : a decrease in size, amount, or value a fall in prices
7 : the distance something falls a fall of three feet

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fall

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fall

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fall

Spanish Central: Translation of fall

Nglish: Translation of fall for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fall for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fall

Comments on fall

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

WORD OF THE DAY

good-natured easy friendliness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!