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 Melania Trump's former confidante Stephanie Winston Wolkoff is penning a tell-all book centered around her longtime friendship, and fallout, with the first lady. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'Melania and Me': Former Melania Trump confidante Stephanie Winston Wolkoff's tell-all due Sept. 1," 8 July 2020 The fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant erasure of spring football and in-person visits is seen as the biggest reason. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "How the transfer portal lost its vice grip on college football," 5 July 2020 The fallout: The company's auditor, EY, is scrambling to contain the damage to its reputation. Julia Horowitz And Charles Riley, CNN, "The pandemic could expose more Wirecards," 5 July 2020 Yet falling behind on a commercial-property lease can hurt a tenant's credit score and have other negative fallout. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, "How commercial real estate in metro Phoenix is faring during COVID-19 pandemic," 4 July 2020 In Black Hawk Down, which chronicles the bloody fallout of a 1993 U.S. military raid in Mogadishu amid the civil war in Somalia, Bloom played 18-year-old Pfc. EW.com, "With The Outpost, Orlando Bloom brings his Black Hawk Down character full circle," 3 July 2020 The state of Ohio has asked the Department of Labor for $3.1 billion in credit to keep its unemployment system afloat as the fallout from the pandemic continues, Gov. Mike DeWine said last month. Evan Macdonald, cleveland, "Continued unemployment claims continue to decline in Ohio after peaking during coronavirus shutdowns," 2 July 2020 And that fallout has been unsparing — not just for hosting the party, but for failing to immediately notify anyone who may have been exposed to the virus. Washington Post, "The virus didn’t stop a Washington socialite from throwing a backyard soiree. Then the tests came back positive.," 1 July 2020 COVID-19's economic fallout is expected to plunder district budgets, while new health protocols raise costs. Olivia Krauth, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Board of Education names finalists in search for state's next education chief," 1 July 2020

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

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fallout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fallout. Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for fallout


How to pronounce fall out (audio)

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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