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


concerned about the possible political fallout from the scandal


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

Another fallout from the lawsuit: the NFL required all teams to have X-ray machines on site at stadiums during games to better diagnose injuries. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "Longtime lawyer Robert Stachler, who defended Pete Rose and worked with Bengals, dies," 12 July 2019 The fallout, though, was usually limited to the exposure of personally identifiable information, huge databases of usernames and passwords and birthdays and Social Security numbers that wind up for sale, or for free, on the dark web and elsewhere. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Hack Brief: A Card-Skimming Hacker Group Hit 17K Domains—and Counting," 11 July 2019 The British government had hoped that notifying the Trump administration in advance would alleviate the fallout, the person said. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, "Kim Darroch Resigns as U.K. Ambassador to U.S. After Leaked Cables," 10 July 2019 The ban was reportedly imposed last October, but wasn’t made public because of the potential diplomatic fallout, according to Reuters. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Singapore needs sand, but its neighbors refuse to sell," 4 July 2019 The two-part season finale of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which has focused on Tristan Thompson’s cheating scandal and its fallout, airs Sunday. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Kim, Kourtney & Khloé Kardashian Party with Kendall & Kylie Jenner for Larsa Pippen's Birthday," 30 June 2019 As one of us wrote in a recent Sports Illustrated story on the potential legal fallout of Durant’s injury, Durant has logged about 37,000 minutes over 12 seasons of regular season and playoff games. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Kevin Durant And the Inequality of Max Contract Offers," 28 June 2019 Google, which this month came under fire for its refusal to remove videos showing harassment of a gay man on YouTube, continues to deal with the fallout, which has extended to the San Francisco Pride Parade this weekend. Levi Sumagaysay, The Mercury News, "Google to employees: Don’t protest on our float at SF Pride parade," 25 June 2019 Officials in the country are scrambling to contain the fallout from the deaths (and the shooting of ex-baseball player David Ortiz) and protect the tourism industry. Doug Criss, CNN, "5 things to know for June 18: Iran, politics, Dominican Republic, Gloria Vanderbilt," 18 June 2019

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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Statistics for fallout

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fallout

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

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More Definitions for fallout



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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More from Merriam-Webster on fallout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fallout

Spanish Central: Translation of fallout

Nglish: Translation of fallout for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fallout for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fallout

Comments on fallout

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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