fell

1 of 5

noun (1)

1
: skin, hide, pelt
2
: a thin tough membrane covering a carcass directly under the hide

fell

2 of 5

verb

felled; felling; fells

transitive verb

1
a
: to cut, knock, or bring down
fell a tree
b
: kill
Her father was felled by a heart attack.
2
: to sew (a seam) by folding one raw edge under the other and sewing flat on the wrong side
fellable adjective
feller noun

fell

3 of 5

past tense of fall

fell

4 of 5

adjective

1
b
: sinister, malevolent
a fell purpose
c
: very destructive : deadly
a fell disease
2
Scotland : sharp, pungent
fellness noun

fell

5 of 5

noun

dialectal British
: a high barren field or moor

Example Sentences

Verb using an ax to fell a tree He's strong enough to fell an ox. Adjective planning for the distribution of resources in case of some fell event war crimes committed by a fell and barbarous enemy

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German fel skin, Latin pellis

Verb

Middle English, from Old English fellan; akin to Old English feallan to fall — more at fall

Adjective

Middle English fel, from Anglo-French — more at felon

Noun

Middle English, from Old Norse fell, fjall mountain; akin to Old High German felis rock

First Known Use

Noun (1)

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

Verb

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fell was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near fell

Cite this Entry

“Fell.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fell. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

fell

1 of 3 verb
1
a
: to cut, beat, or knock down
fell trees
2
: to sew (a seam) by folding one edge under the other

fell

2 of 3

past of fall entry 1

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