\ 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.



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



Definition of fall (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Feeling inspired by her recipe for a summer-to-fall 'fit? Alex Warner, Peoplemag, 6 Aug. 2022 Rhodium Group estimates that emissions would fall 31%-44% below 2005 levels, compared with 24%-35% under current policy. Sammy Rothstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 5 Aug. 2022 The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that nearly 50% of this new book tax would fall on manufacturers—the effects of which could prove devastating. Rob Portman, WSJ, 3 Aug. 2022 Paron, who met Tait seven years ago, said there have been Thanksgiving dinners with her family where the entire room of 20 people would fall silent, listening to Tait tell stories. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 2 Aug. 2022 The departure of the cargo vessel loaded with corn from Odessa came despite fears that the deal, signed in Istanbul in late July, would fall apart after a recent Russian attack on the port. Kareem Fahim, Washington Post, 1 Aug. 2022 The International Energy Agency recently forecast that gas demand in the region would fall 9 percent this year. New York Times, 30 July 2022 This week, Walmart said its profits would fall because its customers are spending more on pricier food and gas, leaving them less able to buy clothes and other discretionary items. Christopher Rugaber, Anchorage Daily News, 30 July 2022 This week, Walmart said its profits would fall because its customers are spending more on pricier food and gas, leaving them less able to buy clothes and other discretionary items. Christopher Rugaber, Chicago Tribune, 29 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The UConn men’s basketball team is entering the second and final week of its second summer session before the team takes a 10-day break and returns to Storrs for the fall. Joe Arruda, Hartford Courant, 7 Aug. 2022 And beyond Tuesday’s results, there are other signs in the data out of Kansas that Democrats may have found an important issue for the fall. Dante Chinni, NBC News, 7 Aug. 2022 Luckily for us, the Ugg mini boot is still a must-have for fall and winter, so why not also give low-rise denim a chance too? Laura Jackson, Vogue, 5 Aug. 2022 Henderson played sparingly in the spring game, leaving Williams and Pryor to showcase themselves for the fall. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 5 Aug. 2022 In the United States, a vaccine updated for BA.4/5 got the go-ahead for fall. Jen Christensen, CNN, 4 Aug. 2022 Arizona’s secretary of state race could be one of the more compelling races heading into the fall. The Arizona Republic, 4 Aug. 2022 The labor shortage hit schools especially hard last year and now some states are warning that hundreds of teaching positions for this fall remain unfilled. Abc News, ABC News, 4 Aug. 2022 Cherry Choco Latte' is named for its large, deep pink and white blooms that appear from mid-summer into fall, and the chocolate-brown tinge its new leaves feature. Andrea Beck, Better Homes & Gardens, 4 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Now’s a great time to stock up on summer and pre-fall style staples, including women’s and men’s tees, sunglasses for women and men, swimwear and swim trunks, comfy footwear, hats, trendy jewelry, designer clothing and accessories and more. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 June 2022 For Max Mara pre-fall 2022, a dark-wash iteration was paired with a button-up and a light jacket. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 29 June 2022 To the event, Holmes wore a slouchy summer look consisting of an ivory crochet tank top and long flared skirt from Chloé's pre-fall 2022 collection. Rosa Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 29 June 2022 Use as a stunning accent plant or in fall floral displays. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, 24 June 2022 The liquid metal fabrication added a new verve to a style that has become a constant on Beckham’s runways—her pre-fall 2022 featured a neon version of the same piece—and a favorite within her own wardrobe. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 11 Apr. 2022 To celebrate the store’s 15-year anniversary, Smallwood partnered with Proenza Schouler on an in-store event, held on March 22, just one day shy of when the pre-fall 2022 collection is available for preorder on Hampden’s site. Lauren Caruso, Harper's BAZAAR, 23 Mar. 2022 The pre-fall Proenza Schouler white square-toe loafer, meanwhile, hits the refresh on polished prep, as does The Row’s Margaret—a slim-line, block-heel iteration. Vogue, 15 Apr. 2022 Keep your eyes peeled on Victoriabeckham.com; the designer’s second dress—a black pre-fall number—will be available to buy in June. Alice Newbold, Glamour, 11 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of fall


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


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


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

Learn More About fall

Time Traveler for fall

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near fall

Falkland Islands



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Statistics for fall

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fall.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fall. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for fall


\ 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.



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

More from Merriam-Webster on fall

Nglish: Translation of fall for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fall for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fall


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