fall

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

fall

adjective

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 Michigan, which was the hardest hit, has seen new cases fall from a seven-day average of 7,863 on April 14 to 4,508 on April 29, a drop of 34%. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, "Pandemic retreat signals vaccines are working," 3 May 2021 Many of the earlier summer 2021 dates have been shuffled to late August or fall, while others, including Atlanta, Charlotte and Tampa, shifted to 2022. Melissa Ruggieri, ajc, "Doobie Brothers’ anniversary tour moves Atlanta show to 2022," 3 May 2021 But the rest of the country is seeing cases fall or at least hold steady. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, "It's not goodbye for podcast -- it's the start of a new chapter," 3 May 2021 The people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential, cautioned that the talks could still fall apart. New York Times, "sell Yahoo and AOL," 2 May 2021 Better yet, May also happens to be when most models go on sale, as new outdoor items tend to hit stores from March through May, creating a need to get rid of old stock (new indoor items, meanwhile, arrive closer to fall). Nishka Dhawan, USA TODAY, "What to buy in May 2021: All the best deals to shop this month," 2 May 2021 With movie theaters reopening and fall film festivals on the horizon, pressure is building to resolve the situation before next year’s awards season kicks into gear. Los Angeles Times, "Golden Globes organization vowed to change. Then came turmoil. What went wrong?," 2 May 2021 After the boys’ loss in 2019, the Needham girls won the Division 1 state title later that fall. BostonGlobe.com, "After a long wait, Needham boys’ volleyball is ready for redemption," 2 May 2021 The easy target for Republicans (and some moderate Democrats) is the new taxes that will be needed to pay for the plan, which would fall most heavily on the wealthiest Americans. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Joe Biden, the Republicans, and Kids’ Stuff," 2 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Orange school district will require ECGs, also known as EKGs, starting with the upcoming fall high school sports season. Leslie Postal, orlandosentinel.com, "‘It saves lives’: OCPS students must get ECGs to play sports, school board decides," 4 May 2021 The bluebirds do not leave the country during fall migration. Jim Williams, Star Tribune, "Cold snap in South means fewer bluebirds up north," 4 May 2021 Now the goal is to start construction this fall with completion in the fourth quarter of 2023. David Lyons, sun-sentinel.com, "Pier Sixty-Six revamp hits pandemic delays. Here’s when we’ll finally see it reopen.," 4 May 2021 Over the summer, most clients are sticking to domestic travel, but many have booked fall trips to Europe, Mullahy among them. BostonGlobe.com, "Normalcy is on the horizon. But will we run to meet it?," 4 May 2021 The effort financed and championed by Republican activists to oust Newsom in a special election this fall permeated much of the four-day convention. John Myers, Los Angeles Times, "Essential Politics: Democrats close ranks behind Newsom," 3 May 2021 In fall and winter, their feathers are flecked with white and their beaks are a deep brown. Julia M. Zichello, Scientific American, "The Delight of Watching Birds on the Streets of New York," 3 May 2021 Looking ahead: After a successful spring season, Valparaiso University’s football team will return to its traditional fall schedule later this year with a few notable additions to the nonconference slate. Dave Melton, chicagotribune.com, "College notes: Former Andrean star Michael Doolin on the road back to the mound at Vanderbilt following Tommy John surgery," 3 May 2021 The reason for the limitations is that the number of adult king salmon from the Sacramento River fall run is projected to be 271,000 this spring and summer, compared with last year’s estimate of 473,200. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Fishing limits, choppy weather gets California salmon season off to slow - and expensive- start," 3 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Defensively, his education accelerated in fall instructional league, with minor-league catching coordinator Gabriel Ortiz. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, "Tyler Soderstrom, A's first-round pick from Turlock, makes catching strides," 4 Mar. 2021 Style Advertising also cited statistics from its post-fall Birmingham Restaurant Week survey, which the agency says showed a 54 percent average increase in sales for participants. al, "Birmingham Restaurant Week 2021: What to know about the Winter Edition," 13 Jan. 2021 Bella Hadid dramatically revamped her look just in time for the virtual screening party for Dior's 2021 pre-fall men's show. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bella Hadid Updates Her Look with a Platinum-Blonde Pixie Cut," 9 Dec. 2020 Despite the successful Target collab and her many accolades, Cushnie wasn’t able to recover from the lack of fall wholesale orders as a result of the ongoing global pandemic. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Carly Cushnie Shutters Her Namesake Label," 29 Oct. 2020 For even more fall flavor, try adding some maple syrup ice cubes to an apple cider cocktail. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, "Maple Syrup Ice Cubes Will Add Fall Vibes to Your Iced Coffee, Cocktails, and More," 24 Sep. 2020 The survey asked school districts to identify cases in public schools since July 1, including summer programs and pre-fall athletics, or among teachers and staff members returning to work to prepare for the first day of school. New York Times, "What We Know About Coronavirus Cases in K-12 Schools So Far," 21 Sep. 2020 Rhode Island is pushing on with fall high school sports, but like Massachusetts, has postponed high-risk sports. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "With fall sports facing an uncertain future in Connecticut amid the coronavirus pandemic, here’s how other Northeast states are handling the upcoming season," 25 Aug. 2020 With the Colorado High School Activities Association yet to clarify the status of fall high school football in the state, the move made sense for Rubley. Andy Yamashita, The Denver Post, "Jake Rubley, Colorado’s top-rated senior football player, considering move to Iowa," 3 Aug. 2020

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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fall.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fall. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for fall

fall

verb

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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