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

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 Perhaps after this season, Utah State won’t be just a fallback option to the Pac-12. The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 Dec. 2021 Doña Martha made all of her kids study for other careers, a fallback in case the music didn’t work out. Los Angeles Times, 6 Dec. 2021 That's a far cry from the 2015 Paris climate deal overarching limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees) and its fallback limit of 2 degrees Celsius. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 10 Nov. 2021 As a result, advocates are quietly negotiating a fallback. John Harwood, CNN, 24 Oct. 2021 The technology must be robust in terms of availability, connectivity and security, but must be a performance enhancer and staff motivator, rather than a fallback option. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 Generally, medical providers can lean on specialized staffing companies to take up the slack, but that fallback has been less available as well. Andrew Dyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Aug. 2021 The fallback plan includes major federal regulations to pare emissions, such as a new U.S. mandate to curb the production of hydrofluorocarbons imposed in September. Justin Sink, Fortune, 14 Oct. 2021 Given their experience with Bobby Petrino 1.0 and Charlie Strong’s departure for Texas, Louisville football fans are justifiably sensitive to perceptions of their school as a fallback position. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 7 Sep. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near fallback

fall away


fall back

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Statistics for fallback

Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fallback.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fallback. Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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