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 attributively a 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

back away, drop back, pull out, recede, retire, retreat, withdraw

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of fallback in a Sentence


resistance from native forces was greater than expected, and the invading army was forced to fall back

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Windsor said if new revenue doesn't come through, the city's parking fund would be the fallback. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Delays to Milwaukee streetcar extension jeopardize funding source, Barrett administration says," 5 July 2019 Hoops Habit also wrote about how Cory Joseph could make sense for the Suns as a fallback option in free agency. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Cory Joseph rumors: Phoenix Suns interested in free agent point guard," 27 June 2019 There’ll be a tier that goes and then there will be some fallbacks. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Bulls top pick Coby White shows reverence for fellow North Carolina product Michael Jordan: ‘I was kind of scared’," 24 June 2019 Woodland had figured golf was his fallback option if basketball didn’t pan out. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "Gary Woodland comes up big on Father’s Day, wins U.S. Open at Pebble Beach," 16 June 2019 Bright-orange electroluminescent paint strips on the sides of the ESF concept are its ultimate post-crash communication fallback, should either the adorable robot triangle or the rooftop triangle be out of commission and car-to-X links severed. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "If You Crash a Mercedes-Benz in the Future, It Could Deploy a Robot to Warn Other Drivers," 21 May 2019 Perhaps more importantly, Titan Ridge also supports a USB-C fallback mode, which should allow the controller to work with more hardware. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Razer's Core X Chroma eGPU cabinet features RGB and Intel's latest Thunderbolt 3 controller," 16 Apr. 2019 Read next: How Irish Border Threatens to Erupt Back Into Brexit Talks The current focus is how to clarify that the fallback option of rule alignment north and south of the border is just that -- a fallback. Dara Doyle, Bloomberg.com, "U.K. to Face EU Resistance to Key Brexit Border Pledge," 22 Feb. 2018 In both of the midterms during his time—in 2010 and 2014—the decline in Democratic turnout was about 40% from the prior presidential election, compared with fallbacks of 14% and 32% for Republicans in the same years. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Democrats’ To-Do List: Translate Anger Into Actual Votes," 17 Sep. 2018

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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Statistics for fallback

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fallback

The first known use of fallback was in 1607

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More from Merriam-Webster on fallback

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fallback

Comments on fallback

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to complain fretfully

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