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 Japan's beer exports to South Korea have been in free fall since tensions started boiling over in the summer. Sherisse Pham, CNN, "South Korea didn't buy any beer from Japan last month," 29 Nov. 2019 Culp has managed to so far avoid fresh nasty surprises in the long-term care insurance business and elsewhere at GE Capital, while the troubled power business no longer appears to be in free fall. Washington Post, "GE’s New CFO Lacks ‘Wow’ Factor and That’s Fine," 25 Nov. 2019 Those three teams have been in free fall since 2016 and collectively are playing a big role in Alabama’s pre-November schedule being weak this season. Mike Rodak |, al, "Why Alabama’s pre-November schedule is easiest of Saban era," 10 Oct. 2019 Eleven years ago, with the stock market in free fall, Congress passed a $700 billion bailout of the financial system. Paul Kiel, ProPublica, "The Bailout Was 11 Years Ago. We’re Still Tracking Every Penny.," 3 Oct. 2019 But suddenly he’s thrown off his antenna, in free fall. Michael Phillips,, "’Ad Astra’ review: Brad Pitt soars to Neptune and beyond for some family therapy and introspection," 18 Sep. 2019 Many of those sentiments remain today amid the escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington, following the disintegration of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal and the subsequent U.S. sanctions that have sent the Iranian economy into free fall. Washington Post, "40 years on, Iranians recall 1979 US Embassy hostage crisis," 1 Nov. 2019 Most people get into it to experience the free fall, and the parachute is a means to get on the ground for them. Darcel Rockett,, "Chicagoan will spend the week jumping from a plane at Wingsuit Flying World Cup: ‘Most of us are not adrenaline junkies’," 26 Aug. 2019 The capsule will free fall into the ocean at 300 mph, likely coming apart because there won't be any parachutes to slow it down. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "NASA tests abort system for the Orion spacecraft that will carry humans to the moon in 2024," 2 July 2019

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

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Free fall.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 8 December 2019.

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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

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 constrict the range or activity of

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