verb \ˈfȯl\

Definition of fall


play \ˈfel\;


play \ˈfȯ-lən\;


  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1a :  to descend freely by the force of gravity <An apple fell from the tree.>b :  to hang freely <her hair falls over her shoulders>c :  to drop oneself to a lower position <fell to his knees>d :  to come or go as if by falling <darkness falls early in the winter>

  3. 2 :  to become born —usually used of lambs

  4. 3a :  to become lower in degree or level <the temperature fell 10°>b :  to drop in pitch or volume <their voices fell to a whisper>c :  issue 1a, b <wisdom that fell from his lips>d :  to become lowered <her eyes fell>

  5. 4a :  to leave an erect position suddenly and involuntarily <slipped and fell on the ice>b :  to enter as if unawares :  stumble, stray <fell into error> <We fell into a trap.>c :  to drop down wounded or dead; especially :  to die in battle <Many men fell on the battlefield.>d :  to suffer military capture <after a long siege the city fell>e :  to lose office <the party fell from power>f :  to suffer ruin, defeat, or failure <the deal fell through>

  6. 5 :  to commit an immoral act <but man willfully misused his God-given freedom and fell into sin — John Hick>; especially :  to lose one's chastity

  7. 6a :  to move or extend in a downward direction <the land falls away to the east>b :  subside, abate <the wind is falling>c :  to decline in quality, activity, or quantity <production fell off>d :  to lose weight —used with off or away <The cattle have fallen off badly in the drought.>e :  to assume a look of shame, disappointment, or dejection <his face fell>f :  to decline in financial value or price <stocks fell sharply>

  8. 7a :  to occur at a certain time <her birthday falls on a Monday this year>b :  to come by chance <a job that fell into his hands>c :  to come or pass by lot, assignment, or inheritance :  devolve <it fell to him to break the news>d :  to have a certain or proper position, place, or station <the accent falls on the second syllable>

  9. 8 :  to come within the limits, scope, or jurisdiction of something <this word falls into the class of verbs>

  10. 9 :  to pass suddenly and passively into a state of body or mind or a new state or condition <fall asleep> <fall in love>

  11. 10 :  to set about heartily or actively <fell to work>

  12. 11 :  strike, impinge <music falling on the ear>

  13. transitive verb
  14. :  fell 1

fall all over oneself


fall over oneself


fall over backward

  1. :  to display great or excessive eagerness <Fans were falling all over themselves trying to get the basketball star's autograph.>

fall apart

  1. 1 :  disintegrate <The pie was falling apart as I served it.>

  2. 2 :  to succumb to mental or emotional stress :  break down <She began to fall apart when her son was imprisoned.>

fall behind

  1. 1 :  to lag behind <The slower hikers fell behind the group.>

  2. 2 :  to be in arrears <He fell behind in his car payments.>

fall between two stools

  1. :  to fail because of inability to choose between or reconcile two alternative or conflicting courses of action

fall flat

  1. :  to produce no response or result <the joke fell flat>

fall for

  1. 1 :  to fall in love with <He fell for her the moment he saw her.>

  2. 2 :  to become a victim of <fell for the trick>

fall from grace

  1. :  to lose acceptance or good reputation <The governor fell from grace when he was accused of tax fraud.>

fall home

  1. :  to curve inward —used of the timbers or upper parts of a ship's side

fall into line

  1. :  to comply with a certain course of action <The company fell into line with the new regulations.>

fall on


fall upon

  1. :  to meet with <fell on hard times>

fall on one's face

  1. :  to fail utterly <the movie fell on its face at the box office>

fall on one's sword

  1. :  to sacrifice one's pride or position <The coach fell on his sword apologizing for the team's poor season.>

fall short

  1. 1 :  to be deficient <The expedition's supplies began to fall short.>

  2. 2 :  to fail to attain something (as a goal or target) <The results fell short of expectations.>

Examples of fall in a sentence

  1. An apple fell from the tree.

  2. A vase fell off the shelf.

  3. Rain fell from the sky.

  4. the sound of the falling rain

  5. She slipped and fell on the ice.

  6. He fell flat on his face.

  7. She was afraid that I would trip and fall.

  8. He fell down the stairs.

  9. One of the sailors had fallen overboard.

  10. He fell back onto the bed.

Origin and Etymology of fall

Middle English, from Old English feallan; akin to Old High German fallan to fall and perhaps to Lithuanian pulti

First Known Use: before 12th century




Definition of fall

  1. 1 :  the act of falling by the force of gravity

  2. 2a :  a falling out, off, or away :  dropping <the fall of leaves> <a fall of snow>b :  the season when leaves fall from trees :  autumnc :  a thing or quantity that falls or has fallen <a fall of rock at the base of the cliff>; especially :  one or more meteorites or their fragments that have fallen togetherd (1) :  birth (2) :  the quantity born —usually used of lambs

  3. 3a :  a costume decoration of lace or thin fabric arranged to hang loosely and gracefullyb :  a very wide turned-down collar worn in the 17th centuryc :  the part of a turnover collar from the crease to the outer edged :  a wide front flap on trousers (as those worn by sailors)e :  the freely hanging lower edge of the skirt of a coatf :  one of the three outer and often drooping segments of the flower of an irisg :  long hair overhanging the face of dogs of some breedsh :  a usually long straight portion of hair that is attached to a person's own hair

  4. 4 :  a hoisting-tackle rope or chain; especially :  the part of it to which the power is applied

  5. 5a :  loss of greatness :  collapse <the fall of the Roman Empire>b :  the surrender or capture of a besieged place <the fall of Troy>c :  lapse or departure from innocence or goodnessd :  loss of a woman's chastitye :  the blame for a failure or misdeed <took the fall for the robbery>

  6. 6a :  the downward slope (as of a hill) :  declivityb :  a precipitous descent of water :  waterfall —usually used in plural but singular or plural in constructionc :  a musical cadenced :  a falling-pitch intonation in speech

  7. 7 :  a decrease in size, quantity, degree, or value

  8. 8a :  the distance which something fallsb :  inclination, pitch

  9. 9a :  the act of felling somethingb :  the quantity of trees cut downc (1) :  an act of forcing a wrestler's shoulders to the mat for a specified time (as one second) (2) :  a bout of wrestling

  10. 10 Scotland :  destiny, lot

Examples of fall in a sentence

  1. a fall from a horse

  2. She's had several bad falls in recent years.

  3. a fall of three feet

  4. the rise and fall of the tide

  5. She went off to college in the fall.

  6. Several weeks of fall remain before winter begins.

  7. When fall came he planted grass.

  8. a fall in the price of oil

Origin and Etymology of fall

see 1fall

First Known Use: 13th century

Other Calendar Terms




Definition of fall

  1. :  of, relating to, or suitable for autumn <a new fall coat>

Origin and Etymology of fall

see 1fall

First Known Use: 1677

FALL Defined for English Language Learners



verb \ˈfȯl\

Definition of fall for English Language Learners

  • : to come or go down quickly from a high place or position

  • : to come or go down suddenly from a standing position

  • : to let yourself come or go down to a lower position

FALL Defined for Kids



verb \ˈfȯl\

Definition of fall for Students






  1. 1 :  to come or go down freely by the force of gravity <An apple fell from the tree.>

  2. 2 :  to come as if by falling <Night fell before we got home.>

  3. 3 :  to become lower (as in degree or value) <The temperature fell ten degrees.>

  4. 4 :  to topple from an upright position <The tree fell.>

  5. 5 :  to collapse wounded or dead <Too many soldiers have fallen in battle.>

  6. 6 :  to become captured <The city fell to the enemy.>

  7. 7 :  to occur at a certain time <This year my birthday falls on a Monday.>

  8. 8 :  to pass from one condition of body or mind to another <fall asleep> <fall ill>

fall back

  1. :  2retreat 1 <“… the Witch and her crew will … fall back to her house and prepare for a siege.” — C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe>

fall short

  1. :  to fail to be as good or successful as expected <The sequel to my favorite movie fell short.>




Definition of fall for Students

  1. 1 :  the act or an instance of going or coming down by the force of gravity <a fall from a horse>

  2. 2 :  autumn

  3. 3 :  a thing or quantity that falls <a heavy fall of snow>

  4. 4 :  a loss of greatness :  downfall <the fall of an empire>

  5. 5 :  waterfall —usually used in pl. <Niagara Falls>

  6. 6 :  a decrease in size, amount, or value <a fall in prices>

  7. 7 :  the distance something falls <a fall of three feet>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up fall? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing naturally in a region

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