ripple effect


Definition of ripple effect

: a spreading, pervasive, and usually unintentional effect or influence the automotive industry has a ripple effect on many other industries — compare domino effect

Examples of ripple effect in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Pac-12 withdrawal from non-conference football will have a ripple effect across the gridiron landscape. NBC News, "Pacific-12 Conference cuts non-league games this fall in latest coronavirus setback for sports," 11 July 2020 The Big Ten’s announcement comes on the heels of the Ivy League’s decision to cancel fall sports, which some speculated would create a ripple effect that would touch football’s highest tier and trickle down to the bottom rungs. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Big Ten's decision to keep games in-house shows how divided college football really is," 10 July 2020 In Hawaii, local surfer Brian Keaulana is aiming to build a five-acre wave pool on Oahu’s West Side, but there’s talk of how the project could have a ripple effect beyond the sport. Molly Glick, Popular Science, "Pro surfers hit artificial waves in the heat of the climate crisis," 30 June 2020 The loss of business travel and tourism has also had a ripple effect in the Arab marketplace. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "Pandemic pricing: Are Mideast markets losing the art of the deal?," 30 June 2020 And for Monáe, those emotions were bound to have a ripple effect even after the cameras stopped rolling. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "Janelle Monáe Shares How She Was Triggered Filming 'Antebellum' On A Plantation: ‘I Felt Everything’," 29 June 2020 Sticking up for yourself is an act of self-care that can create a ripple effect of others sticking up for themselves, too. cleveland, "Dear Annie: Time to get an adult bully out of my life," 28 June 2020 Sticking up for yourself is an act of self-care that can create a ripple effect of others sticking up for themselves, too. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Long-time friend jokes about family coronavirus illness," 28 June 2020 The eventual collapse of the subprime mortgage market -- loans to borrowers with poor credit histories -- created a ripple effect that led to the collapse of Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual and countless other firms. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "A key bank rule written in the wake of the financial crisis just got rolled back," 25 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ripple effect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ripple effect

1966, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ripple effect

Time Traveler for ripple effect

Time Traveler

The first known use of ripple effect was in 1966

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ripple effect

Last Updated

21 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ripple effect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ripple effect

ripple effect


English Language Learners Definition of ripple effect

: a situation in which one event causes a series of other events to happen

More from Merriam-Webster on ripple effect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ripple effect

Comments on ripple effect

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!