fall·​out | \ ˈfȯl-ˌau̇t How to pronounce fallout (audio) \

Definition of fallout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the often radioactive particles stirred up by or resulting from a nuclear explosion and descending through the atmosphere also : other polluting particles (such as volcanic ash) descending likewise
b : descent (as of fallout) through the atmosphere
2 : a secondary and often lingering effect, result, or set of consequences have to take a position and accept the political fallout— Andy Logan

fall out

fell out; fallen out; falling out; falls out

Definition of fall out (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : quarrel also : to cut off relations over a quarrel former friends who have fallen out
2 : turn out, happen expected to be in the States …  , but things fell out otherwise— Mark Twain
3a : to leave one's place in the ranks
b : to leave a building in order to take one's place in a military formation

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Examples of fallout in a Sentence

Noun concerned about the possible political fallout from the scandal Verb club members were soon falling out about how to spend the money they'd made washing cars I had planned to have a sports career, but things fell out otherwise.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Below is a list of banks that acknowledged having lent on margin to Hwang’s Archegos Capital, and the resulting fallout on their results in the first quarter and, if applicable, also in the second. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, "Here’s how much the big banks have lost so far from the Archegos collapse," 27 Apr. 2021 Some smaller banks may also have been hit, and the fallout has taken the shine off an otherwise strong earnings season for global banks. Charles Riley, CNN, "Wall Street's losses on Archegos just topped $10 billion," 27 Apr. 2021 The high numbers are due to the fallout from the explosion, with winds carrying toxic particles as far away as Switzerland. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine, "Thirty-Five Years Later, a First Responder at the Chernobyl Disaster Looks Back," 27 Apr. 2021 While largely symbolic, Biden's declaration is significant because of the potential geopolitical fallout. Editors, USA TODAY, "Here's the biggest news you missed this weekend," 26 Apr. 2021 Proponents of the supplemental unemployment benefits have said the measures remain necessary to support out-of-work people still struggling with Covid-19’s economic fallout, and give unemployed workers time to search for better-paying jobs. Heather Haddon, WSJ, "Restaurants Serve Up Signing Bonuses, Higher Pay to Win Back Workers," 25 Apr. 2021 New patients have flocked to Bone’s office looking for ways to cope with the mental health fallout brought on by pandemic, while existing patients have also seen their symptoms exacerbated, Bone said. Aric Chokey, sun-sentinel.com, "After hitting record numbers during the pandemic’s peak, new medical marijuana patients are surging again in Florida," 24 Apr. 2021 Scott seemingly did not face consequences from his own production company, and there was no public fallout. Tavi Gevinson, Vulture, "Art Doesn’t Need Tyrants," 23 Apr. 2021 Other teams still haven’t completely finalized their preseason schedule in what’s become another unique fallout from the pandemic. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "How area coaches are approaching challenging task of filling out nondistrict TXHSFB schedule during COVID-19 (again)," 23 Apr. 2021

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


1946, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for fallout

Time Traveler

The first known use of fallout was in the 15th century

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Statistics for fallout

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fallout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fallout. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for fallout



English Language Learners Definition of fallout

: the radioactive particles that are produced by a nuclear explosion and that fall through the atmosphere
: a bad effect or result of something


fall·​out | \ ˈfȯl-ˌau̇t How to pronounce fallout (audio) \

Kids Definition of fallout

1 : the usually radioactive particles falling through the atmosphere as a result of a nuclear explosion
2 : the bad result of something He suffered the fallout from his poor decision.


fall·​out | \ ˈfȯ-ˌlau̇t How to pronounce fallout (audio) \

Medical Definition of fallout

1 : the often radioactive particles stirred up by or resulting from a nuclear explosion and descending through the atmosphere also : other polluting particles (as volcanic ash) descending likewise
2 : descent (as of fallout) through the atmosphere

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