free fall


Definition of free fall 

1 : the condition of unrestrained motion in a gravitational field also : such motion

2a : the part of a parachute jump before the parachute opens

b : a rapid and continuing drop or decline a free fall in stock prices

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Other Words from free fall

free-fall \ˈfrē-​ˌfȯl \ intransitive verb

Examples of free fall in a Sentence

Sales were in free fall.

Recent Examples on the Web

McCain sacrificed his values to win McCain’s campaign was in free fall at the end of August 2008. Laura Mcgann, Vox, "John McCain, Sarah Palin, and the rise of reality TV politics," 26 Aug. 2018 And that really does reflect the fact that his economy is in free fall. Fox News, "Mueller investigation criticized as being 'one-sided'," 24 Aug. 2018 There are a few precious seconds where a skydiver is free falling before releasing the parachute. Patricia Dillon, Houston Chronicle, "Indoor skydiving gaining popularity as sport, recreational activity," 8 Feb. 2018 The free fall began after the company reported to state regulators that one of its transmission lines had malfunctioned before the start of a massive fire in Northern California. Russell Gold, WSJ, "California’s Largest Utility Pummeled by Wildfire Risks," 14 Nov. 2018 The results of the study showed that sperm actually got faster during free fall. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "Scientists Are Studying How Sperm Functions in Space," 17 July 2018 The Villians have been absent from the Premier League for two seasons since their abysmal 2015/16 campaign, and were in danger of free falling down the leagues after a slow start in their first season in the Championship., "Jack Grealish Praises John Terry for His 'Professional' Attitude as Aston Villa Push for Promotion," 13 Apr. 2018 Sempervirens Falls, short, narrow chute into pool, Big Basin Redwoods State Park; Castle Rock Falls, 50-foot free fall with viewing platform for side view (not a full frontal), Castle Rock State Park, Skyline (above Los Gatos). Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "As winter arrives, rain ignites waterfalls across Northern California," 18 Jan. 2018 Roosevelt’s New Deal measures helped stabilize the free fall, but the drought had taught a hard lesson. Bella Bathurst, Newsweek, "Kill the Plough, Save Our Soils," 29 May 2014

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'free 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 free fall

1851, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for free fall

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for free fall

The first known use of free fall was in 1851

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More Definitions for free fall

free fall


English Language Learners Definition of free fall

: the state or condition of falling through the air toward the ground

: the condition of quickly becoming lower, less, or fewer

: a fast or continuing drop

free fall

\-ˌfȯl \

Medical Definition of free fall 

: the condition of unrestrained motion in a gravitational field also : such motion

More from Merriam-Webster on free fall

Nglish: Translation of free fall for Spanish Speakers

Comments on free fall

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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