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 But in the era of COVID-19, with $1 billion in state cuts, campus budgets in free fall, and academics in disarray because students and professors can’t safely gather together, the university may need less of a politician at the helm than a magician. Nanette Asimov,, "UC picked a successor to Napolitano to run the university system. Can the new chief pull off the impossible?," 6 July 2020 That free fall in confidence is among the steepest in the world, rivaling a drop of support for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Washington Post, "As Britain emerges from coronavirus lockdown, Boris Johnson has lost public...," 2 July 2020 At the 2016 trade deadline, with the Giants in a free fall, the popular infielder was shipped to Tampa Bay in the trade that sent lefty Matt Moore to San Francisco. John Shea,, "Former Giants infielder Matt Duffy signs with Yankees," 28 June 2020 For officials in Frankfurt and elsewhere, the main goal is likely to reduce steep job losses and to prevent whole industries from going into free fall. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "How Europe’s low-cost airlines are surviving the pandemic without billion-dollar bailouts," 15 June 2020 The economy and corporate profits are in free fall because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "Millennials working from home may be moving the market," 12 June 2020 With the economy in free fall, the resilience of share prices defies the misfortunes of most Americans. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Slack’s great earnings aren’t good enough for Wall Street," 5 June 2020 Even that's not a guarantee, because the hemp market has been in free fall, brought on by a glut, market uncertainties and, more recently, the coronavirus pandemic. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "More than 150 Kentucky farmers holding last year's hemp crop after disastrous last season," 1 June 2020 Amid the global pandemic and economic free fall, though, Michael’s death resonated only here in Westmoreland Heights, a neighborhood of roughly 1,000 people in the heart of West Dallas. Dallas News, "Lost promise: A life full of hardship, then hope, senselessly taken," 22 May 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

20 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Free fall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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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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