fall

verb
\ ˈfȯl \
fell\ ˈfel \; fallen\ ˈfȯ-​lən \; 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
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

slip, stumble, topple, trip, tumble

Synonyms: Noun

slip, spill, stumble, tumble

Antonyms: Verb

get up, rise, stand (up), uprise

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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

The legislation’s introduction fell on the eighth anniversary of the day Gabby Giffords was shot in the head in Tucson, Ariz. Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Democrats Introduce Bill Expanding Background Checks on Gun Sales," 8 Jan. 2019 Holidays and major sales always tend to go hand-in-hand, and Presidents' Day (which falls on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019) is obviously no exception. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Here's Where To Find The Best Sales This Presidents' Day," 8 Jan. 2019 The abrupt move was reportedly resisted by Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who appealed to the president to reconsider and then resigned when his counsel fell on deaf ears. Alexia Underwood, Vox, "Trump’s secret trip to Iraq didn’t quite go as planned," 27 Dec. 2018 Play around with departure and return dates to find the lowest flight prices (the cheapest fares fall on Sundays and Mondays from January-March). Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "12 Days of Deals: U.S. to Cape Town for $549 Round-Trip," 24 Dec. 2018 And then, also not falling into the trap of only covering the Democratic front runners. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: NBC journalists Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell and Hallie Jackson on Recode Decode," 5 Dec. 2018 Hailey also posted an Instagram on Friday, as her 22nd birthday fell on the holiday itself this year. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Justin and Hailey Bieber Celebrate Thanksgiving as a Married Couple," 24 Nov. 2018 This year, the month of November started on a Thursday, which means the fourth Thursday of the month falls on Nov. 22—it's the first time Thanksgiving has come this early since 2012. Cierra Williams, Country Living, "Here's Why Thanksgiving Is So Early This Year," 14 Nov. 2018 Kylie Cosmetics fans already fall for every new launch, but this is an Easter egg for followers who've loved KUWTK since the beginning. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Kylie Jenner Is Releasing a Todd Kraines Lip Kit for Old-School KUWTK Fans," 9 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the fall, Instagram cofounders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger left the company six years after it was acquired. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Facebook," 26 Dec. 2018 But China’s regulatory apparatus started taking an ax to the tech behemoths this year, sending their share prices into free-fall. Jesse M. Fried And Matthew Schoenfeld, WSJ, "Will China Cheat American Investors?," 13 Dec. 2018 Length: 105 Miles | Region: Northeast Upstate New York thrives in the fall, boasting some of the prettiest foliage in the country and a staggering amount of apple orchards. Juliet Izon, Woman's Day, "The 12 Most Scenic Drives in the Country to Add to Your Bucket List ASAP," 4 Dec. 2018 Above the bed, a Brutalist 1960s sculpture by William Friedle emphasizes the couple’s interest in nature and brings to mind dead leaves in the fall. Bob Morris, ELLE Decor, "A Minimalist West Village Townhouse Is Given a Sensuous and Cerebral New Life," 23 Nov. 2018 Think of this as a fun, working list going into the fall. Albert Breer, SI.com, "2019 NFL Mock Draft: A Very Early Look at the Potential Top 10 Picks," 11 July 2018 This summer and into fall, camps will be held in Austin, Boston, Calgary, Chicago, Denver, Florida (Ocala), L.A., Nashville, New York, Seattle and Toronto. Susan B. Barnes, USA TODAY, "Leave the kids behind: Summer camp for adults," 6 July 2018 After months of testing, working well into the fall, Shelsky had yet to strike the perfect balance. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "This Is How You Make a Perfect New York Bagel," 28 Dec. 2018 Month after month, through the summer and into the fall, revelations about Facebook kept coming. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Facebook’s very bad year, explained," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 That should put him on track to at least participate somewhat in fall instructional league in September. Mike Berardino, Twin Cities, "Twins lose No. 3 prospect Alex Kirilloff for season to Tommy John surgery," 1 Mar. 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.

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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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Statistics for fall

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fall

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

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More Definitions for fall

fall

verb

English Language Learners Definition of fall

: 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

verb
\ ˈfȯl \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on fall

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fall

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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