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 If the Blazers strike out on Crowder, Justin Holiday would be a nice fallback option who wouldn’t break the bank. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "NBA free agency: 5 players the Portland Trail Blazers should target," 20 Nov. 2020 So that public-sector fallback is not available to most Texans. Dallas News, "Obamacare offers a safety net for millions who’ve lost health insurance. How many Texans will use it?," 13 Nov. 2020 As a growing body of consistent evidence can be hard to explain away, one fallback is to impugn the source. Sean B. Carroll, Scientific American, "The Denialist Playbook," 8 Nov. 2020 How he's done: No coach hired during the 2018 offseason has done a better job so far than Vrabel, who was believed to be the Lions' fallback plan had Patricia gone elsewhere. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "How Detroit Lions' Matt Patricia compares to other head coaching hires made in 2018," 27 Nov. 2020 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

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

26 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fallback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fallback. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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