fall

verb
\ ˈfȯl How to pronounce fall (audio) \
fell\ ˈfel How to pronounce fall (audio) \; fallen\ ˈfȯ-​lən How to pronounce fall (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 away The 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 — compare standard sense 8b
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

fall

adjective

Definition of fall (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for fall

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Inevitably, Holiday will fall into the background again and become forgotten. J. Michael, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Aaron Holiday's value to Pacers tied to unflappable demeanor and 3-point shot," 10 Apr. 2021 After a 2-1 semifinal win over Harvard, the Bulldogs fall 3-2 to Denver in the championship game. Randy Johnson, Star Tribune, "Minnesota Duluth's overtime heartbreak halts an incredible ride," 9 Apr. 2021 But that would still fall short of the more than four million doses a week the government had been expecting from Johnson & Johnson. New York Times, "Plunging Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Supply Dents State Inoculation Efforts," 9 Apr. 2021 Of course demand may fall over time, but that doesn’t look like the case any time soon, if the online clamoring for gaming consoles is any indicator. Jj Kinahan, Forbes, "SPX Appears Poised For Record Though Volume Expected To Be Light Ahead Of Bank Earnings," 9 Apr. 2021 Two-way radios fall into one of three types: Citizens’ Band (a.k.a. CBs), General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), or ham. Gabrielle Hondorp, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Two-Way Radios, From Ham and CB to Increasingly Popular GMRS," 9 Apr. 2021 Two pilots and lifelong friends fall for the same woman, but must put aside their differences when the Japanese attack their naval base on Dec. 7, 1941. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week ‘Pulp Fiction’ on BBC America and IFC," 9 Apr. 2021 Cartier watches fall into both categories comfortably. Michael Pollick, chicagotribune.com, "The best Cartier watch," 9 Apr. 2021 These pieces generally fall into one of three categories: original works, limited edition prints, and open edition prints. Kaitlin Peterson, House Beautiful, "How to Get Good at Buying Art," 8 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Penelope, 22, died from injuries suffered in a fall while skiing at Alyeska Resort on March 21, her family said. Samantha Davenport, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage family remembers 22-year-old who died after ski accident at Alyeska," 11 Apr. 2021 Searching for a taxi back to his hotel with his friends, Stow was blindsided by an attack in the parking lot, his head hitting the ground in a fall as the attackers then kicked his skull and ribs. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Giants fan throws ceremonial first pitch 10 years after a near-fatal attack," 10 Apr. 2021 At a Broward County school board meeting in March, Superintendent Robert Runcie said schools will be open in the fall, but the only question is if the district will offer a virtual option for those who want it. Brooke Baitinger, sun-sentinel.com, "Palm Beach County School District doesn’t plan to offer remote learning in fall," 9 Apr. 2021 The district now is looking into creating a digital platform for its tip line and exploring, too, the implementation of a kindergarten through grade 12 anti-bias program that would take effect in the fall for all students. Anthony Lonetree, Star Tribune, "Centennial High School students, grads speak out for change after racist incidents," 9 Apr. 2021 If workers can take PTO this summer, why not again in the fall? Saahil Desai, The Atlantic, "It Only Took a Pandemic to Get Americans to Go on Vacation," 8 Apr. 2021 Figueroa also should play a major part in the fall but will miss the spring after undergoing shoulder surgery. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, "USC is looking for hunters as they gather talent on defensive line," 8 Apr. 2021 Two incumbents who favored virtual school in the fall lost their seats on the Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School Board. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two incumbents who favored virtual school lose their seats on the Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District Board," 7 Apr. 2021 Vaccinating children is going to play a major role in ending the pandemic and getting life back to normal as schools return in fall. Robert Hart, Forbes, "Only Half Of Americans Say They Will Vaccinate Their Children Against Covid-19 As Soon As They're Eligible," 6 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Defensively, his education accelerated in fall instructional league, with minor-league catching coordinator Gabriel Ortiz. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, "Tyler Soderstrom, A's first-round pick from Turlock, makes catching strides," 4 Mar. 2021 Style Advertising also cited statistics from its post-fall Birmingham Restaurant Week survey, which the agency says showed a 54 percent average increase in sales for participants. al, "Birmingham Restaurant Week 2021: What to know about the Winter Edition," 13 Jan. 2021 Bella Hadid dramatically revamped her look just in time for the virtual screening party for Dior's 2021 pre-fall men's show. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bella Hadid Updates Her Look with a Platinum-Blonde Pixie Cut," 9 Dec. 2020 Despite the successful Target collab and her many accolades, Cushnie wasn’t able to recover from the lack of fall wholesale orders as a result of the ongoing global pandemic. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Carly Cushnie Shutters Her Namesake Label," 29 Oct. 2020 For even more fall flavor, try adding some maple syrup ice cubes to an apple cider cocktail. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, "Maple Syrup Ice Cubes Will Add Fall Vibes to Your Iced Coffee, Cocktails, and More," 24 Sep. 2020 The survey asked school districts to identify cases in public schools since July 1, including summer programs and pre-fall athletics, or among teachers and staff members returning to work to prepare for the first day of school. New York Times, "What We Know About Coronavirus Cases in K-12 Schools So Far," 21 Sep. 2020 Rhode Island is pushing on with fall high school sports, but like Massachusetts, has postponed high-risk sports. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "With fall sports facing an uncertain future in Connecticut amid the coronavirus pandemic, here’s how other Northeast states are handling the upcoming season," 25 Aug. 2020 With the Colorado High School Activities Association yet to clarify the status of fall high school football in the state, the move made sense for Rubley. Andy Yamashita, The Denver Post, "Jake Rubley, Colorado’s top-rated senior football player, considering move to Iowa," 3 Aug. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for fall

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fall

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fall.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fall. Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for fall

fall

verb

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

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Comments on fall

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