fall

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

Definition of fall (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for fall

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Louisville’s seizures fall under the Chicago Field Office, the largest geographical field office in CBP's jurisdiction. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Customs and Border Patrol officials seize so-called COVID-19 'shutout' lanyards in Louisville," 2 May 2020 The record for the largest hailstone in the US belongs to an 8-inch wonder that fell near Vivian, South Dakota, in 2010, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Christina Zdanowicz, CNN, "Hailstone the size of a football in Argentina may have smashed a world record," 2 May 2020 Since mid-March, demand for air travel in the U.S. has fallen 96%, leaving domestic flights carrying an average of only 15 to 20 passengers, according to Airlines for America, the trade group for the country’s carriers. Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times, "Major U.S. airlines will require masks to slow coronavirus spread," 1 May 2020 Autoliv’s first-quarter sales fell 15% to $1.85 billion from the same period last year, the company reported April 24. Mark Maurer, WSJ, "Autoliv’s New CFO Forced to Make Tough Choices Amid Coronavirus Crisis," 1 May 2020 After the announcement, Morgan Stanley shares fell while E*Trade shares surged. Yalman Onaran, Bloomberg.com, "Why Morgan Stanley’s E*Trade Deal Means Bigger Banks," 1 May 2020 His wife and son also fell ill but could not get tested either. Nicholas Kulish, New York Times, "A Life and Death Battle: 4 Days of Kidney Failure but No Dialysis," 1 May 2020 Cases fell over that summer, but six months later, in the fall, the epidemic exploded. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Three potential futures for Covid-19: recurring small outbreaks, a monster wave, or a persistent crisis," 1 May 2020 The first full week in March, everything fell apart from a bookings standpoint. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lost revenue, layoffs and $6.8 million financing round: 60 days as a travel startup during the coronavirus crisis," 1 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Amelia plans to attend Saginaw Valley State University in the fall. Amanda Jackson, CNN, "Nearly half of a Michigan high school's valedictorians since 2014 have come from the same family," 17 May 2020 Melton, who will be a first-time head coach in the fall, got to meet with his team one more time before the coronavirus pandemic canceled all in person activities for the rest of the school year. Marcus Gutierrez, Houston Chronicle, "Kingwood football coach Cale Melton brings championship mentality, spread offense from Highland Park," 16 May 2020 Supernatural, which would have seen its final episode air around this time, will be the rare show to return in the fall if production gets back on track. Radhika Marya, Fortune, "What to expect on network TV during the 2020-2021 season," 15 May 2020 At least some state attorneys general—led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican—are likely to file a case, probably in the fall, people familiar with the matter said. ... Brent Kendall And John D. Mckinnon, WSJ, "Justice Department, State Attorneys General Likely to Bring Antitrust Lawsuits Against Google," 15 May 2020 Bruner will be completing her Indiana degree online in the fall while moving to Nebraska. Stefan Krajisnik, Indianapolis Star, "Before Liam Cronin could wrestle like himself again, he had to deal with loss of his daughter," 14 May 2020 Generally taking place in the fall, a Giving Tuesday event was put into motion this spring to respond to economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Jon Arnold, Dallas News, "Sharing Life Outreach of Mesquite boosted by Giving Day donations," 13 May 2020 Colleges opening in fall is up for debate; grave alarm raised... Washington Post, "World War II veteran and his son die of covid-19, just days apart in separate nursing homes," 13 May 2020 Governors from both parties throughout the United States have already mandated or recommended school closures for the remainder of the academic year, and many districts may not even open in the fall. David Zweig, Wired, "The Case for Reopening Schools," 11 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective While fall isn’t quite here yet (the season officially starts in three days, even though Walmart decor indicates otherwise), what is here is fall festival season. al, "Alabama Fair Food: Pickle Pizza, Gator on a Stick and Fried Snickers in Birmingham," 20 Sep. 2019 The right-wing Law and Justice party wants to strengthen its position before fall parliamentary elections. Washington Post, "EU’s Tusk queried in Poland over his past policy as premier," 17 June 2019 Read more about Macron’s moment of truth on his labor law: QuickTake Q&A Macron’s popularity has declined precipitously ahead of France’s traditional fall protest season. Mark Deen, Bloomberg.com, "French Unions Fail to Draw Big Crowds Against Macron Reform," 12 Sep. 2017 The battle for fall taste buds is now in full swing. Editors, USA TODAY, "The Vegas shooting, MH370: Sometimes there are no answers," 3 Oct. 2017 The improved health of local waters is highlighted by the now regular fall appearance of humpback whales feeding on large schools of Atlantic menhaden at the borders of New York harbor, within site of the Empire State Building. Mark Stoeckle, Smithsonian, "Scientists Can Tell What Fish Live Where Based On DNA in the Water," 13 Apr. 2017 Fall camp practices begin in Auburn today after players reported Sunday and there is much to be determined over the next five weeks. James Crepea, AL.com, "5 Auburn players with the most to gain during fall camp," 31 July 2017 As these vegetables play themselves out, switch gears and focus on fall vegetables. Debbie Arrington, sacbee, "Squash looking fried? Time to switch garden gears," 14 July 2017 The improved health of local waters is highlighted by the now regular fall appearance of humpback whales feeding on large schools of Atlantic menhaden at the borders of New York harbor, within site of the Empire State Building. Mark Stoeckle, Smithsonian, "Scientists Can Tell What Fish Live Where Based On DNA in the Water," 13 Apr. 2017

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for fall

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fall

Last Updated

5 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fall.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fall. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for fall

fall

verb
How to pronounce fall (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on fall

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fall

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fall

Spanish Central: Translation of fall

Nglish: Translation of fall for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fall for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fall

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