fall

verb
\ ˈfȯl How to pronounce fall (audio) \
fell\ ˈfel How to pronounce fall (audio) \; fallen\ ˈfȯ-​lən How to pronounce fall (audio) \; falling

Definition of fall

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

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
2 : to become born usually used of lambs
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 sense 1a wisdom that fell from his lips
d : to become lowered her eyes fell
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
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
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
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
8 : to come within the limits, scope, or jurisdiction of something this word falls into the class of verbs
9 : to pass suddenly and passively into a state of body or mind or a new state or condition fall asleep fall in love
10 : to set about heartily or actively fell to work
11 : strike, impinge music falling on the ear
fall all over oneself or fall over oneself or fall over backward
: to display great or excessive eagerness Fans were falling all over themselves trying to get the basketball star's autograph.
fall apart
1 : disintegrate The pie was falling apart as I served it.
2 : to succumb to mental or emotional stress : break down She began to fall apart when her son was imprisoned.
fall behind
1 : to lag behind The slower hikers fell behind the group.
2 : to be in arrears He fell behind in his car payments.
fall between two stools
: to fail because of inability to choose between or reconcile two alternative or conflicting courses of action
fall flat
: to produce no response or result the joke fell flat
fall for
1 : to fall in love with He fell for her the moment he saw her.
2 : to become a victim of fell for the trick
fall from grace
: to lose acceptance or good reputation The governor fell from grace when he was accused of tax fraud.
fall home
: to curve inward used of the timbers or upper parts of a ship's side
fall into line
: to comply with a certain course of action The company fell into line with the new regulations.
fall on or fall upon
: to meet with fell on hard times
fall on one's face
: to fail utterly the movie fell on its face at the box office
fall on one's sword
: to sacrifice one's pride or position The coach fell on his sword apologizing for the team's poor season.
fall short
1 : to be deficient The expedition's supplies began to fall short.
2 : to fail to attain something (such as a goal or target) The results fell short of expectations.

fall

noun

Definition of fall (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the act of falling by the force of gravity
2a : a falling out, off, or away : dropping the fall of leaves a fall of snow
b : the season when leaves fall from trees : autumn
c : 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 together
d(1) : birth
(2) : the quantity born usually used of lambs
3a : a costume decoration of lace or thin fabric arranged to hang loosely and gracefully
b : a very wide turned-down collar worn in the 17th century
c : the part of a turnover collar from the crease to the outer edge
d : a wide front flap on trousers (such as those worn by sailors)
e : the freely hanging lower edge of the skirt of a coat
f : one of the three outer and often drooping segments of the flower of an iris — compare standard sense 8b
g : long hair overhanging the face of dogs of some breeds
h : a usually long straight portion of hair that is attached to a person's own hair
4 : a hoisting-tackle rope or chain especially : the part of it to which the power is applied
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 goodness
d : loss of a woman's chastity
e : the blame for a failure or misdeed took the fall for the robbery
6a : the downward slope (as of a hill) : declivity
b : a precipitous descent of water : waterfall usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction
c : a musical cadence
d : a falling-pitch intonation in speech
7 : a decrease in size, quantity, degree, or value
8a : the distance which something falls
9a : the act of felling something
b : the quantity of trees cut down
c(1) : an act of forcing a wrestler's shoulders to the mat for a specified time (such as one second)
(2) : a bout of wrestling
10 Scotland : destiny, lot

fall

adjective

Definition of fall (Entry 3 of 3)

: of, relating to, or suitable for autumn a new fall coat

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for fall

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of fall in a Sentence

Verb An apple fell from the tree. A vase fell off the shelf. Rain fell from the sky. the sound of the falling rain She slipped and fell on the ice. He fell flat on his face. She was afraid that I would trip and fall. He fell down the stairs. One of the sailors had fallen overboard. He fell back onto the bed. Noun a fall from a horse She's had several bad falls in recent years. a fall of three feet the rise and fall of the tide She went off to college in the fall. Several weeks of fall remain before winter begins. When fall came he planted grass. a fall in the price of oil
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Donald Trump also appeared to fall for parody news at least once during his presidency, retweeting an article from the Babylon Bee, a satire website considered by many as a right-wing response to the Onion. Washington Post, "Rep. Pat Fallon claimed SPLC listed 2 veterans’ orgs as ‘hate groups.’ His source? A satirical news blog.," 25 Mar. 2021 Affordable alternatives to hydrogen could emerge as costs fall for other technologies, such as offshore wind turbines. Los Angeles Times, "Los Angeles now has a road map for 100% renewable energy," 24 Mar. 2021 Newly reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. fall below 40,000 for the first time in a week. WSJ, "Covid-19 Live Updates: Newly Reported U.S. Cases Fall Below 40,000," 22 Mar. 2021 The weather service in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Des Moines, Iowa, said the snow could fall at a rate of over an inch per hour. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Storm that dumped 4 feet of snow in Rockies heads to the Midwest, thunderstorms forecast in South," 15 Mar. 2021 Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie said people fall into three basic categories: Those who did not do all their duty, those who only professed to do their duty and those who did their duty plus a little more. Harvey Mackay, Star Tribune, "The power of commitment," 14 Mar. 2021 India has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases globally, preceded only by the United States, and pandemic restrictions caused the economy to fall into a recession for the first time in nearly a quarter century. Sarita Santoshini, The Christian Science Monitor, "Vaccine diplomacy: Will free shipments pay off for India?," 9 Mar. 2021 Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for the gas-price comparison website GasBuddy.com, wrote in his blog on Monday that consumers shouldn’t expect prices to fall for a while. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, "Gasoline prices rise to nearly 2-year high, and they may get worse," 8 Mar. 2021 One of the vertical cliff dives will fall about 525 feet into a valley by using magnetic motor acceleration, the company said in a release earlier this year. Rachel Chang, Travel + Leisure, "This Theme Park in Saudi Arabia Is Opening the World's Fastest, Tallest, and Longest Roller Coaster," 4 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Erika Eyssen of Brunswick is one of more than 1,100 Canisius College students named to the fall 2020 Dean’s List or Merit List. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Students at Cedarville excel at video game creation," 28 Mar. 2021 After learning of Webb’s fall, McNott reached out to his doctors. Washington Post, "A psychiatric patient wanted to talk about God. A stranger started a conversation that lasted 14 years.," 27 Mar. 2021 Buzea, who’s in his final season at H-F, will coach in the fall at Crown Point, Indiana. Jeff Vorva, chicagotribune.com, "‘That was the right call’: Converted running back Sean Walsh passes for 3 TDs as Lincoln-Way East eases past H-F in Class 8A showdown," 27 Mar. 2021 The deal collapsed after the USFL announced a shift to a fall schedule and Schnellenberger chose not to follow new ownership to Orlando. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Howard Schnellenberger, legendary Louisville football coach, dies at age 87," 27 Mar. 2021 Cayden Wallace blooped a single into right field with two outs, and Brady Slavens reached in the next at-bat when Mississippi State's third baseman, shortstop and left fielder let a popup fall between them. Mitchell Gladstone, Arkansas Online, "Arkansas hits 4 HRs again, takes series at Mississippi State," 27 Mar. 2021 Make it during the one non-denominational fall holiday weekend in U.S., w/ always peak airfare prices. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Comic-Con organizers defend holding in-person convention over Thanksgiving weekend," 29 Mar. 2021 The schools’ presidents shared plans of fall returns with their campuses last week, both planning for a return of mostly in-person courses. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Nursing home isolation, Oahu weddings, eligibility rolls: News from around our 50 states," 29 Mar. 2021 Census Bureau researchers compared survey results from the spring of the 2019-20 school year to the fall 2020-21 school year to measure the impact of widespread state shutdowns. Bethany Blankley, Washington Examiner, "Census Bureau: Home-schooling more than doubled in 2020, higher in some regions," 29 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Defensively, his education accelerated in fall instructional league, with minor-league catching coordinator Gabriel Ortiz. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, "Tyler Soderstrom, A's first-round pick from Turlock, makes catching strides," 4 Mar. 2021 Style Advertising also cited statistics from its post-fall Birmingham Restaurant Week survey, which the agency says showed a 54 percent average increase in sales for participants. al, "Birmingham Restaurant Week 2021: What to know about the Winter Edition," 13 Jan. 2021 Bella Hadid dramatically revamped her look just in time for the virtual screening party for Dior's 2021 pre-fall men's show. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bella Hadid Updates Her Look with a Platinum-Blonde Pixie Cut," 9 Dec. 2020 Despite the successful Target collab and her many accolades, Cushnie wasn’t able to recover from the lack of fall wholesale orders as a result of the ongoing global pandemic. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Carly Cushnie Shutters Her Namesake Label," 29 Oct. 2020 For even more fall flavor, try adding some maple syrup ice cubes to an apple cider cocktail. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, "Maple Syrup Ice Cubes Will Add Fall Vibes to Your Iced Coffee, Cocktails, and More," 24 Sep. 2020 The survey asked school districts to identify cases in public schools since July 1, including summer programs and pre-fall athletics, or among teachers and staff members returning to work to prepare for the first day of school. New York Times, "What We Know About Coronavirus Cases in K-12 Schools So Far," 21 Sep. 2020 Rhode Island is pushing on with fall high school sports, but like Massachusetts, has postponed high-risk sports. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "With fall sports facing an uncertain future in Connecticut amid the coronavirus pandemic, here’s how other Northeast states are handling the upcoming season," 25 Aug. 2020 With the Colorado High School Activities Association yet to clarify the status of fall high school football in the state, the move made sense for Rubley. Andy Yamashita, The Denver Post, "Jake Rubley, Colorado’s top-rated senior football player, considering move to Iowa," 3 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fall.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of fall

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1677, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fall

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fall

Time Traveler for fall

Time Traveler

The first known use of fall was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for fall

Last Updated

31 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fall.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fall. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fall

fall

verb

English Language Learners Definition of fall

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fall (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of coming or going down from a high position or from a standing position
: the act of becoming lower
US : the season between summer and winter : the season when leaves fall from trees

fall

verb
\ ˈfȯl How to pronounce fall (audio) \
fell\ ˈfel \; fallen\ ˈfȯ-​lən \; falling

Kids Definition of fall

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to come or go down freely by the force of gravity An apple fell from the tree.
2 : to come as if by falling Night fell before we got home.
3 : to become lower (as in degree or value) The temperature fell ten degrees.
4 : to topple from an upright position The tree fell.
5 : to collapse wounded or dead Too many soldiers have fallen in battle.
6 : to become captured The city fell to the enemy.
7 : to occur at a certain time This year my birthday falls on a Monday.
8 : to pass from one condition of body or mind to another fall asleep fall ill
fall back
: retreat entry 2 sense 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
: to fail to be as good or successful as expected The sequel to my favorite movie fell short.

fall

noun

Kids Definition of fall (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of going or coming down by the force of gravity a fall from a horse
2 : autumn
3 : a thing or quantity that falls a heavy fall of snow
4 : a loss of greatness : downfall the fall of an empire
5 : waterfall usually used in pl. Niagara Falls
6 : a decrease in size, amount, or value a fall in prices
7 : the distance something falls a fall of three feet

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on fall

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!