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

Calling Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell an enemy and comparing him to the communist leader of China — sending the markets into a free fall — is one of the most recent examples. Brian Stelter, CNN, "The hardest Trump story for the press to cover: His fitness for the job," 25 Aug. 2019 And when general manager Dave Dombrowski did nothing to shore up the bullpen at last Tuesday’s trading deadline, the tenuous grip on the season went into free fall. Tara Sullivan,, "Alex Cora may have to accept that success isn’t in the cards," 5 Aug. 2019 According to reports, the Iranian economy is in free fall. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "What if he dies? &c.," 31 July 2019 The economy has been in free fall without ending the waivers. CBS News, "Transcript: Dennis Ross talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 24 July 2019 Bed Bath & Beyond, once a leader in kitchenware and bedding, is in free fall. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Is Bed Bath & Beyond is running out of time?," 12 July 2019 His first serious relationship, with the actress Hermione Farthingale, was in free fall. Mitch Goodwin, Quartzy, "How David Bowie created “Space Oddity,” the ultimate space anthem," 12 July 2019 A few minutes later, the two boosters separated in this burst of color and smoke before starting well-aimed free falls back to landing pads at Kennedy. Eric Adams, Popular Mechanics, "Here's What It Looked Like to Watch the World's Most Powerful Rocket Launch," 25 June 2019 But how about just letting go, allowing yourself to drift into a free fall of ease for a couple of weeks? Patricia Hampl, WSJ, "All of Summer In a Single Afternoon," 21 June 2018

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

30 Aug 2019

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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 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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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