wa·​ter·​fall | \ˈwȯ-tər-ˌfȯl, ˈwä-\

Definition of waterfall 

1a : a perpendicular or very steep descent of the water of a stream

b : an artificial waterfall (as in a hotel lobby or a nightclub)

2 : something resembling a waterfall

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Synonyms for waterfall


cascade, cataract, fall(s)

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Examples of waterfall in a Sentence

I used to like to throw sticks in the stream and watch them go over the waterfall.

Recent Examples on the Web

Outside, brick-terraced landscaping compliments a waterfall, pond, and extensive greenery, making this redwood giant look a bit like a castle in the forest. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Castle-like postmodern curiosity asks $765K," 23 Oct. 2018 All moved slowly through choreography at times, some beneath a waterfall, amid a set alive with fauna, greenery wending up two dome structures that moved slowly around as Rihanna's women slinked in and out. Fox News, "Rihanna surprises fans with Gigi and Bella Hadid in her Savage X Fenty runway show," 13 Sep. 2018 There’s no prettier background for amazing photos — waterfalls, lakes, mountains and colorful leaves everywhere. The Editors, Seventeen, "The Best Road Trips to Take With Your Besties," 27 Aug. 2018 Gullfoss waterfall, a gorgeous, powerful cascade that was nearly dammed for its energy potential decades ago and is now a nature reserve. Susan Glaser, cleveland.com, "Iceland Travel Blog: Snorkeling in glacial water between two continents (photos)," 9 May 2018 Explore gorgeous waterfalls, and maybe even jump in. Jessica Levy, USA TODAY, "6 reasons you’re going to love the outdoors in Asheville, North Carolina," 30 Apr. 2018 Pro tip: To catch as much of Maui’s natural beauty as possible, drive the Road to Hana, a 68-mile scenic route featuring dramatic waterfalls and ending at the spectacular Seven Sacred Pools. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Islands in the U.S.: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 The gorge boasts aquatic trekking along the stream that cuts through the massive rock, where hikers pass by waterfalls and natural slipways. Colleen Barry, The Seattle Times, "Search called off in Italy gorge flood that killed 10," 21 Aug. 2018 Ekapol Chanthawong, his assistant, was to take the younger boys to a soccer field nestled by the Doi Nang Non mountain range, a formation with numerous waterfalls and caves that straddles the Thai-Myanmar border. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "‘He loved them more than himself’: How a 25-year-old former monk kept the Thai soccer team alive," 7 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'waterfall.' 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 waterfall

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for waterfall

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for waterfall

The first known use of waterfall was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of waterfall

: an area in a stream or river where running water falls down from a high place (such as over the side of a cliff)


wa·​ter·​fall | \ˈwȯ-tər-ˌfȯl, ˈwä-\

Kids Definition of waterfall

: a fall of water from a height

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Comments on waterfall

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


living or existing for a long time

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