fall·​back | \ ˈfȯl-ˌbak How to pronounce fallback (audio) \

Definition of fallback

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something on which one can fall back : reserve often used attributivelya fallback careera fallback position
2 : a falling back : retreat
3 : something that falls back the fallback from an explosion

fall back

fell back; fallen back; falling back; falls back

Definition of fall back (Entry 2 of 2)

fall back on or fall back upon
: to have recourse to had to fall back on their reserves

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Synonyms & Antonyms for fallback

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of fallback in a Sentence

Verb resistance from native forces was greater than expected, and the invading army was forced to fall back
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some coaches prefer the comfort of always having one year remaining on their deal, a fallback plan in the event they are fired, while others are willing to bet on themselves and risk a little more and coach to the end of their contract. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago Bears Q&A: Why isn’t anyone talking about GM Ryan Pace’s job status? Is it time to see what QB Tyler Bray can do? Shouldn’t Cole Kmet get some passes thrown his way?," 11 Nov. 2020 If fear is not persuasive, there is another fallback position that resonates strongly with Americans: the freedom of choice. Sean B. Carroll, Scientific American, "The Denialist Playbook," 8 Nov. 2020 If that’s too hard to pull off — scripted always sounds scripted — then playing dumb is a solid fallback. Washington Post, "Friend’s mocking boyfriend has her all bottled up," 4 Nov. 2020 When outmaneuvered, the Dogman retreated to his fallback position, which was grinning like an idiot. Michael Deagler, Harper's Magazine, "New Poets," 27 Oct. 2020 While Philly would ideally add a bona fide floor-spacer in the mold of of Nesmith or Bane, the Tar Heel point guard isn’t a bad fallback plan. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, "The Tribune’s NBA mock draft 1.0: Who will the Utah Jazz select at No. 23?," 24 Oct. 2020 While manufacturing output powered ahead, Covid-19 fears triggered a fallback in services in France and elsewhere, with fresh restrictions once again slamming hospitality businesses. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Recession risk grows as Covid-19 cases continue to surge," 23 Oct. 2020 Extended Leave program is a necessary fallback program that will, nonetheless, likely be rarely used. cleveland, "Independence Local School District celebrates successful first quarter of in-person learning," 21 Oct. 2020 Returning from an Achilles injury, Hood isn’t a bad fallback plan at small forward should a major deal not materialize. oregonlive, "Player-by-player review of the 2019-20 Portland Trail Blazers season, with looks ahead to the future," 19 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fallback.' 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 fallback


1830, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1607, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for fallback

Time Traveler

The first known use of fallback was in 1607

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Statistics for fallback

Last Updated

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fallback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fallback. Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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