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

But the fallout has also struck regional U.S. allies like Jordan, whose economy, already floundering after eight years of Syria’s civil war, hinged on business with its northern neighbor. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, "U.S. punishes Syria with sanctions — but allies like Jordan also pay a price," 10 Sep. 2019 The legal fallout pitted the Suffolk County District Attorney, elected on a reform-minded progressive platform last year, and a judge appointed by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker in 2017. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "Straight Pride Parade fallout: Boston DA wins fight over counter protester arrests," 9 Sep. 2019 The fallout from Alabama’s 62-10 win over New Mexico State carried over into Monday for Nick Saban and a few players. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "Why Nick Saban, Tua said Alabama passing game was ‘sloppy’ in blowout win," 9 Sep. 2019 Watkins immediately enters the WR1 discussion off his 46.8 point performance in PPR and has another juicy match-up versus a Raiders team still dealing with the Antonio Brown fallout. Frankie Taddeo, SI.com, "Fantasy Football: Week 1 Sunday Superlatives," 9 Sep. 2019 People complained off and on over the years about ashes and corrosive fallout from the chimney at the plant that damaged paint on cars and homes. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Man pushes preservation of 400-foot-tall coastal smokestack," 8 Sep. 2019 Investors have been worried that uncertainty over the conflict and the fallout from tariffs goods imposed by both sides will exacerbate a slowdown in global economic growth and hurt corporate profits. Washington Post, "Asian shares rise on optimism over more US-China trade talks," 6 Sep. 2019 Americans are still wrestling with—and in some cases suffering from—the policy fallout from 9/11. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "We’re Trapped in the Dystopian Aftermath of 9/11," 6 Sep. 2019 The ruling is also troubling for Samsung, which is already struggling with falling semiconductor prices, the fallout from the trade war between America and China and Japanese export restrictions on three chemicals that are essential for chipmaking. The Economist, "Samsung’s boss thought he was out of the woods. Not so fast," 5 Sep. 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

13 Sep 2019

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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

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to make a temporary encampment

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