fall

verb
\ ˈfȯl How to pronounce fall (audio) \
fell\ ˈfel How to pronounce fall (audio) \; fallen\ ˈfȯ-​lən How to pronounce fall (audio) \; falling

Essential Meaning of fall

1 : to come or go down quickly from a high place or position An apple fell from the tree. A vase fell off the shelf. See More ExamplesRain fell from the sky. the sound of the falling rainHide
2 : to come or go down suddenly from a standing position She slipped and fell on the ice. He fell flat on his face. See More ExamplesShe was afraid that I would trip and fall. He fell down the stairs. One of the sailors had fallen overboard. a fallen treeHide
3 : to let yourself come or go down to a lower position He fell [=dropped, sank] to his knees and asked for forgiveness. He fell back/forward onto the bed.

Full Definition of fall

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to descend freely by the force of gravity An apple fell from the tree.
b : to hang freely her hair falls over her shoulders
c : to drop oneself to a lower position fell to his knees
d : to come or go as if by falling darkness falls early in the winter
2 : to become born usually used of lambs
3a : to become lower in degree or level the temperature fell 10°
b : to drop in pitch or volume their voices fell to a whisper
c : issue sense 1a wisdom that fell from his lips
d : to become lowered her eyes fell
4a : to leave an erect position suddenly and involuntarily slipped and fell on the ice
b : to enter as if unawares : stumble, stray fell into error We fell into a trap.
c : to drop down wounded or dead especially : to die in battle Many men fell on the battlefield.
d : to suffer military capture after a long siege the city fell
e : to lose office the party fell from power
f : to suffer ruin, defeat, or failure the deal fell through
5 : to commit an immoral act but man willfully misused his God-given freedom and fell into sin— John Hick especially : to lose one's chastity
6a : to move or extend in a downward direction the land falls away to the east
b : subside, abate the wind is falling
c : to decline in quality, activity, or quantity production fell off
d : to lose weight used with off or away The cattle have fallen off badly in the drought.
e : to assume a look of shame, disappointment, or dejection his face fell
f : to decline in financial value or price stocks fell sharply
7a : to occur at a certain time her birthday falls on a Monday this year
b : to come by chance a job that fell into his hands
c : to come or pass by lot, assignment, or inheritance : devolve it fell to him to break the news
d : to have a certain or proper position, place, or station the accent falls on the second syllable
8 : to come within the limits, scope, or jurisdiction of something this word falls into the class of verbs
9 : to pass suddenly and passively into a state of body or mind or a new state or condition fall asleep fall in love
10 : to set about heartily or actively fell to work
11 : strike, impinge music falling on the ear
fall all over oneself or fall over oneself or fall over backward
: to display great or excessive eagerness Fans were falling all over themselves trying to get the basketball star's autograph.
fall apart
1 : disintegrate The pie was falling apart as I served it.
2 : to succumb to mental or emotional stress : break down She began to fall apart when her son was imprisoned.
fall behind
1 : to lag behind The slower hikers fell behind the group.
2 : to be in arrears He fell behind in his car payments.
fall between two stools
: to fail because of inability to choose between or reconcile two alternative or conflicting courses of action
fall flat
: to produce no response or result the joke fell flat
fall for
1 : to fall in love with He fell for her the moment he saw her.
2 : to become a victim of fell for the trick
fall from grace
: to lose acceptance or good reputation The governor fell from grace when he was accused of tax fraud.
fall home
: to curve inward used of the timbers or upper parts of a ship's side
fall into line
: to comply with a certain course of action The company fell into line with the new regulations.
fall on or fall upon
: to meet with fell on hard times
fall on one's face
: to fail utterly the movie fell on its face at the box office
fall on one's sword
: to sacrifice one's pride or position The coach fell on his sword apologizing for the team's poor season.
fall short
1 : to be deficient The expedition's supplies began to fall short.
2 : to fail to attain something (such as a goal or target) The results fell short of expectations.

fall

noun

Definition of fall (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the act of falling by the force of gravity
2a : a falling out, off, or away : dropping the fall of leaves a fall of snow
b : the season when leaves fall from trees : autumn
c : a thing or quantity that falls or has fallen a fall of rock at the base of the cliff especially : one or more meteorites or their fragments that have fallen together
d(1) : birth
(2) : the quantity born usually used of lambs
3a : a costume decoration of lace or thin fabric arranged to hang loosely and gracefully
b : a very wide turned-down collar worn in the 17th century
c : the part of a turnover collar from the crease to the outer edge
d : a wide front flap on trousers (such as those worn by sailors)
e : the freely hanging lower edge of the skirt of a coat
f : one of the three outer and often drooping segments of the flower of an iris — compare standard sense 8b
g : long hair overhanging the face of dogs of some breeds
h : a usually long straight portion of hair that is attached to a person's own hair
4 : a hoisting-tackle rope or chain especially : the part of it to which the power is applied
5a : loss of greatness : collapse the fall of the Roman Empire
b : the surrender or capture of a besieged place the fall of Troy
c : lapse or departure from innocence or goodness
d : loss of a woman's chastity
e : the blame for a failure or misdeed took the fall for the robbery
6a : the downward slope (as of a hill) : declivity
b : a precipitous descent of water : waterfall usually used in plural but singular or plural in construction
c : a musical cadence
d : a falling-pitch intonation in speech
7 : a decrease in size, quantity, degree, or value
8a : the distance which something falls
9a : the act of felling something
b : the quantity of trees cut down
c(1) : an act of forcing a wrestler's shoulders to the mat for a specified time (such as one second)
(2) : a bout of wrestling
10 Scotland : destiny, lot

fall

adjective

Definition of fall (Entry 3 of 3)

: of, relating to, or suitable for autumn a new fall coat

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Synonyms & Antonyms for fall

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of fall in a Sentence

Verb An apple fell from the tree. A vase fell off the shelf. Rain fell from the sky. the sound of the falling rain She slipped and fell on the ice. He fell flat on his face. She was afraid that I would trip and fall. He fell down the stairs. One of the sailors had fallen overboard. He fell back onto the bed. Noun a fall from a horse She's had several bad falls in recent years. a fall of three feet the rise and fall of the tide She went off to college in the fall. Several weeks of fall remain before winter begins. When fall came he planted grass. a fall in the price of oil
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Utilities that have reached 85% clean energy would be exempt from the penalty, as long as their percentage of clean generation doesn’t fall from the prior year. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 18 Oct. 2021 Turning to his computer coding site, Adams believes that the drop-out rate of programming students would fall dramatically if their studies were prefaced by preliminary training in effective learning habits. Michael B. Arthur, Forbes, 17 Oct. 2021 That was if their boat did not fall apart or capsize along the way. BostonGlobe.com, 17 Oct. 2021 The series appears from the get-go to be challenging audiences to separate appearance and reality, to not fall for the knee-jerk reactions of social media is. Liza Foreman, Variety, 14 Oct. 2021 Army soldiers set up checkpoints, schoolchildren stayed home and bullet casings littered streets in Beirut on Friday after a day of fighting killed seven people, raising fears that an already collapsing country could fall even further. Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2021 Add it all up, and analysts predict margin growth will fall this quarter, but then stabilize. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 13 Oct. 2021 The color is designed to serve as a transition from summer to fall, which is perfect timing as the weather gets chillier. Alex Loh, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Oct. 2021 And public companies with inflated share prices may come under pressure from short sellers betting that the stock will fall, or from attorneys who accuse such companies of making unrealistic promises and failing to deliver. oregonlive, 12 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Still, with the departure of U.S. forces and the fall of President Ashraf Ghani’s government, there’s now a calm unlike any the villagers have experienced in two decades. Sudarsan Raghavan, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Oct. 2021 Still, with the departure of U.S. forces and the fall of President Ashraf Ghani’s government, there’s now a calm unlike any the villagers have experienced in two decades. Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2021 Saif al-Islam Gadhafi appeared before Libyan judges in 2014, following the fall of his father’s regime. Thomas Grove, WSJ, 5 Oct. 2021 What is known is the DNR has yet to conduct a license drawing for the 2021 fall wolf season. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 18 Sep. 2021 Pops conductor Jack Everly and symphony soloists will perform a program that brings people back into the fold for the first traditional fall season opening since 2019. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 18 Sep. 2021 The adaptation, starring Will Liverman (right), opens the Metropolitan Opera’s fall season, on Sept. 27. The New Yorker, 17 Sep. 2021 As the high school fall sports season tries to regain normalcy, the process of getting athletes to and from events has become extremely complicated in some towns in Connecticut. Lori Riley, courant.com, 16 Sep. 2021 The Walters Cultural Arts Center’s fall season kicks off with a performance by jazz musicians Shao Way Wu, Ed Bennett and Randy Porter. oregonlive, 15 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This Ulla Johnson Honoria Dress from their pre-fall 2021 collection features a beautiful bronze, blue and black print and can be worn with bare legs or tights for those chilly Scandinavian late summer nights. Rana Good, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 Style Advertising also cited statistics from its post-fall Birmingham Restaurant Week survey, which the agency says showed a 54 percent average increase in sales for participants. al, 10 Aug. 2021 Style Advertising also cited statistics from its post-fall Birmingham Restaurant Week survey, which the agency says showed a 54 percent average increase in sales for participants. al, 10 Aug. 2021 Go on a walk around the neighborhood (or around new and different neighborhoods) to admire pretty fall decorations and creepy Halloween decorations. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 Sep. 2021 Style Advertising also cited statistics from its post-fall Birmingham Restaurant Week survey, which the agency says showed a 54 percent average increase in sales for participants. al, 10 Aug. 2021 Style Advertising also cited statistics from its post-fall Birmingham Restaurant Week survey, which the agency says showed a 54 percent average increase in sales for participants. al, 10 Aug. 2021 The remainder of fall high school sports were played with modifications. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, 3 Aug. 2021 Defensively, his education accelerated in fall instructional league, with minor-league catching coordinator Gabriel Ortiz. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 Mar. 2021

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

Verb

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

Noun

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

Adjective

1677, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fall

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

Middle English, from Old English feallan; akin to Old High German fallan to fall and perhaps to Lithuanian pulti

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Time Traveler for fall

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near fall

Falkland Islands

fall

Falla

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Statistics for fall

Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fall.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fall. Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for fall

fall

verb
\ ˈfȯl How to pronounce fall (audio) \
fell\ ˈfel \; fallen\ ˈfȯ-​lən \; falling

Kids Definition of fall

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to come or go down freely by the force of gravity An apple fell from the tree.
2 : to come as if by falling Night fell before we got home.
3 : to become lower (as in degree or value) The temperature fell ten degrees.
4 : to topple from an upright position The tree fell.
5 : to collapse wounded or dead Too many soldiers have fallen in battle.
6 : to become captured The city fell to the enemy.
7 : to occur at a certain time This year my birthday falls on a Monday.
8 : to pass from one condition of body or mind to another fall asleep fall ill
fall back
: retreat entry 2 sense 1 "… the Witch and her crew will … fall back to her house and prepare for a siege."— C. S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
fall short
: to fail to be as good or successful as expected The sequel to my favorite movie fell short.

fall

noun

Kids Definition of fall (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of going or coming down by the force of gravity a fall from a horse
2 : autumn
3 : a thing or quantity that falls a heavy fall of snow
4 : a loss of greatness : downfall the fall of an empire
5 : waterfall usually used in pl. Niagara Falls
6 : a decrease in size, amount, or value a fall in prices
7 : the distance something falls a fall of three feet

More from Merriam-Webster on fall

Nglish: Translation of fall for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fall for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fall

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