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 How to pronounce free fall (audio) \ intransitive verb

Examples of free fall in a Sentence

Sales were in free fall.
Recent Examples on the Web Men’s suits, which were already struggling against a long-term shift toward casual clothing, are in free fall. Marc Bain, Quartz, "The shelter-at-home era poses a fundamental challenge to fashion," 29 Dec. 2020 The last team in the NFL to lose a game during the 2020 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers are now in free fall. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Carl Lawson, Josh Bynes help Bengals upend Steelers," 22 Dec. 2020 The National Restaurant Association reported this month that 500,000 restaurants are in free fall and 110,000 have permanently closed this year. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Covid Political Relief," 20 Dec. 2020 Movable body fins on its base and the nose cone, resembling a squid’s head, helped Starship maneuver while gliding horizontally like a skydiver in free fall. Brandon Lingle,, "‘Awesome test’: SpaceX’s Starship blasts off from Boca Chica, explodes on landing," 9 Dec. 2020 The laws could further worsen ties between Australia and its largest trading partner, which have been in free fall since April, when the prime minister called for an independent probe into the origins of the coronavirus. Jason Scott,, "Australia Passes Law That Can Scrap China Belt and Road Accords," 8 Dec. 2020 Happily, Henderson appears to be in free fall in terms of the confidence reposed in him by staff members. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "England’s Top School Fires Teacher for Thought Crimes," 4 Dec. 2020 The percentage of homes with conventional landlines remains in free fall, according to USTelecom, and is now under 10%, down from the high 90s just 20 years ago. Eric Zorn,, "Column: Finally, belatedly, I put our once-beloved landline phone out of its misery," 1 Dec. 2020 The Houston Astros were trying to join the 2004 Boston Red Sox as the only team to recover from a 0-3 deficit, but in the end the Rays made history of their own by ending a free fall. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "World Series Preview: A Clash of Coasts and Contrasts," 19 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for free fall

Time Traveler

The first known use of free fall was in 1851

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Statistics for free fall

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Free fall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce free fall (audio) \

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

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