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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But another motivation is also slowly emerging: Overturning Roe could have devastating political fallout for Republicans. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 9 May 2022 If the Supreme Court does, in fact, overturn or substantially curtail Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, the GOP will be unprepared to deal with the political fallout. Charlie Dent, CNN, 9 May 2022 Ohio's primary season is over, but the ongoing political fallout of former President Donald Trump's influence across the state is already brewing ahead of November in the 9th Congressional District. Rick Klein, ABC News, 6 May 2022 Apart from retweeting Tesla’s official announcement that the AGM will take place on Aug. 4, the workaholic CEO has focused his recent social media postings on the broader political fallout of his high profile takeover. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 3 May 2022 The best response from the Court would be to ignore the political fallout and focus on the law. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 3 May 2022 Both military actions left countries in those regions struggling with the political fallout for years after. New York Times, 24 Apr. 2022 The biggest domestic political fallout from the current war obviously is gas prices. NBC News, 20 Mar. 2022 While Orban appears to have the momentum, the political and economic fallout from the war still make the election too close to call, according to Gabor Toka, an election expert and senior fellow at Central European University in Budapest. Zoltan Simon, Bloomberg.com, 15 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of fallout was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near fallout

fallopian tube


fall out

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Statistics for fallout

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fallout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fallout. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for fallout


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

More from Merriam-Webster on fallout

Nglish: Translation of fallout for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fallout for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fallout


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