AskDefine | Define fall

Dictionary Definition



1 the season when the leaves fall from the trees; "in the fall of 1973" [syn: autumn]
2 a sudden drop from an upright position; "he had a nasty spill on the ice" [syn: spill, tumble]
3 the lapse of mankind into sinfulness because of the sin of Adam and Eve; "women have been blamed ever since the Fall"
4 a downward slope or bend [syn: descent, declivity, decline, declination, declension, downslope] [ant: ascent]
5 a lapse into sin; a loss of innocence or of chastity; "a fall from virtue"
6 a sudden decline in strength or number or importance; "the fall of the House of Hapsburg" [syn: downfall] [ant: rise]
7 a movement downward; "the rise and fall of the tides" [ant: rise]
8 the act of surrendering (under agreed conditions); "they were protected until the capitulation of the fort" [syn: capitulation, surrender]
9 the time of day immediately following sunset; "he loved the twilight"; "they finished before the fall of night" [syn: twilight, dusk, gloaming, nightfall, evenfall, crepuscule, crepuscle]
10 when a wrestler's shoulders are forced to the mat [syn: pin]
11 a free and rapid descent by the force of gravity; "it was a miracle that he survived the drop from that height" [syn: drop]
12 a sudden sharp decrease in some quantity; "a drop of 57 points on the Dow Jones index"; "there was a drop in pressure in the pulmonary artery"; "a dip in prices"; "when that became known the price of their stock went into free fall" [syn: drop, dip, free fall]


1 descend in free fall under the influence of gravity; "The branch fell from the tree"; "The unfortunate hiker fell into a crevasse"
2 move downward and lower, but not necessarily all the way; "The temperature is going down"; "The barometer is falling"; "The curtain fell on the diva"; "Her hand went up and then fell again" [syn: descend, go down, come down] [ant: rise, ascend]
3 pass suddenly and passively into a state of body or mind; "fall into a trap"; "She fell ill"; "They fell out of favor"; "Fall in love"; "fall asleep"; "fall prey to an imposter"; "fall into a strange way of thinking"; "she fell to pieces after she lost her work"
4 come under, be classified or included; "fall into a category"; "This comes under a new heading" [syn: come]
5 fall from clouds; "rain, snow and sleet were falling"; "Vesuvius precipitated its fiery, destructive rage on Herculaneum" [syn: precipitate, come down]
6 suffer defeat, failure, or ruin; "We must stand or fall"; "fall by the wayside"
7 decrease in size, extent, or range; "The amount of homework decreased towards the end of the semester"; "The cabin pressure fell dramatically"; "her weight fall to under a hundred pounds"; "his voice fell to a whisper" [syn: decrease, diminish, lessen] [ant: increase]
8 die, as in battle or in a hunt; "Many soldiers fell at Verdun"; "Several deer have fallen to the same gun"; "The shooting victim fell dead"
9 touch or seem as if touching visually or audibly; "Light fell on her face"; "The sun shone on the fields"; "The light struck the golden necklace"; "A strange sound struck my ears" [syn: shine, strike]
10 be captured; "The cities fell to the enemy"
11 occur at a specified time or place; "Christmas falls on a Monday this year"; "The accent falls on the first syllable"
12 yield to temptation or sin; "Adam and Eve fell"
13 lose office or power; "The government fell overnight"; "The Qing Dynasty fell with Sun Yat-sen"
14 to be given by assignment or distribution; "The most difficult task fell on the youngest member of the team"; "The onus fell on us"; "The pressure to succeed fell on the yougest student"
15 move in a specified direction; "The line of men fall forward"
16 be due; "payments fall on the 1st of the month"
17 lose one's chastity; "a fallen woman"
18 to be given by right or inheritance; "The estate fell to the oldest daughter"
19 come into the possession of; "The house accrued to the oldest son" [syn: accrue]
20 fall to somebody by assignment or lot; "The task fell to me"; "It fell to me to notify the parents of the victims" [syn: light]
21 be inherited by; "The estate fell to my sister"; "The land returned to the family"; "The estate devolved to an heir that everybody had assumed to be dead" [syn: return, pass, devolve]
22 slope downward; "The hills around here fall towards the ocean"
23 lose an upright position suddenly; "The vase fell over and the water spilled onto the table"; "Her hair fell across her forehead" [syn: fall down]
24 drop oneself to a lower or less erect position; "She fell back in her chair"; "He fell to his knees"
25 fall or flow in a certain way; "This dress hangs well"; "Her long black hair flowed down her back" [syn: hang, flow]
26 assume a disappointed or sad expression; "Her face fell when she heard that she would be laid off"; "his crest fell"
27 be cast down; "his eyes fell"
28 come out; issue; "silly phrases fell from her mouth"
29 be born, used chiefly of lambs; "The lambs fell in the afternoon"
30 begin vigorously; "The prisoners fell to work right away"
31 go as if by falling; "Grief fell from our hearts"
32 come as if by falling; "Night fell"; "Silence fell" [syn: descend, settle] [also: fell, fallen]

User Contributed Dictionary





  • italbrac UK: , /fɔːl/, /fO:l/
  • italbrac US: , /fɑl/, /fAl/
  • Rhymes with: -ɔːl


  1. to move to a lower position under the effect of gravity
    Thrown from a cliff, the stone fell 100 feet before hitting the ground.
  2. to come down, to drop or descend
    The rain fell at dawn.
  3. to come to the ground deliberately, to prostrate oneself
    He fell to the floor and begged for mercy.
  4. to be brought to the ground
  5. to collapse; to be overthrown or defeated
    Rome fell to the Goths in 410 AD.
  6. In the context of "intransitive|literary": to die
    This is a monument to all those who fell in the First World War.
  7. to be allotted to; to come to through chance or fate
    And so it falls to me to make this important decision.
  8. to become lower (in quantity, pitch, etc)
  9. italbrac followed by an adjective to become; to change into the state described by the adjective that follows
    She has fallen ill.
  10. In the context of "transitive|archaic": to cause something to descend to the ground; especially to cause a tree to descend to the ground by cutting it down.

Usage notes

  • The sense "to become" is now only used in certain set phrases and expressions; see Derived terms below.


move to a lower position under the effect of gravity
come down or descend
  • Chinese:
    Mandarin: (xiàjiàng)
  • Danish: falde
  • Finnish: laskeutua
  • German: fallen
  • Greek: πέφτω
  • Irish: tit
  • Portuguese: cair
  • Swedish: falla
prostate oneself
be brought to earth or be overthrown
  • Danish: falde
  • Finnish: kaatua
  • German: fallen
  • Greek: πέφτω
  • Old English: crincgan
  • Slovene: pasti
  • Swedish: falla
collapse; be overthrown or defeated
  • Greek: πέφτω
  • Greek: πέφτω
be allotted to
  • Chinese:
    Mandarin: (chéngwéi)
  • German: fallen
  • Portuguese: falhar
  • Swedish: falla
become or change into
  • Chinese:
    Mandarin: (chéngwéi)
  • Danish: blive
  • Dutch: (ziek, verliefd, zwanger) worden, (in slaap) vallen
  • Finnish: tulla joksikin
  • French: devenir, tomber
  • German: fallen, werden
  • Italian: diventare, divenire, cadere
  • Persian: شدن (šodan)
  • Spanish: caer
  • Swedish: bli


  1. The act of moving in a fluid or vacuum under the effect of gravity to a lower position.
  2. A reduction in quantity, pitch, etc.
  3. Autumn.
  4. A loss of greatness or status.
    the fall of Rome
  5. In the context of "cricket|of a wicket": The action of a batsman being out.
  6. A defect in the ice which causes stones thrown into an area to drift in a given direction
  7. slang US Blame; punishment
    He set up his rival to take the fall.
  8. See falls
act of moving in gas or vacuum under the effect of gravity from a point to a lower point
See autumn
loss of greatness or status
  • Chinese:
    Mandarin: (duòluò)
  • Danish: fald
  • Dutch: val, ondergang
  • Finnish: tuho
  • German: Fall, Untergang
  • Japanese: 没落 (botsuraku)
  • Old English: hryre
  • Portuguese: perda
  • Russian: падение
  • Swedish: fall
cricket: the act of a batsman being out



From Arabic










  1. fall, drop
  2. case (linguistics)





See also



fall n (plural fall, definite singular fallet, definite plural fallen)
  1. fall (the act of falling)
  2. case (in the legal sense)

Extensive Definition

Autumn (also known as fall in North American English) is one of the four temperate seasons. Autumn marks the transition from summer usually in September (northern hemisphere) or March (southern hemisphere) when the arrival of night becomes noticeably earlier. Autumn starts on 22nd September and ends on 20th December, in the northern hemisphere. Autumn starts on or around 7 August and ends on about 6 November in solar term.
In Ireland, autumn begins on 1 August and ends 31 October, due to the Irish calendar.


The word autumn comes from the Old French word autompne (automne in modern French), and was later normalized to the original Latin word autumnus. There are rare examples of its use as early as the 14th century, but it became common by the 16th century, around the same time as fall, and the two words appear to have been used interchangeably.
Before the 16th century, harvest was the term usually used to refer to the season. However as more people gradually moved from working the land to living in towns (especially those who could read and write, the only people whose use of language we now know), the word harvest lost its reference to the time of year and came to refer only to the actual activity of reaping, and fall and autumn began to replace it as a reference to the season.
The alternative word fall is now mostly a North American English word for the season. It traces its origins to old Germanic languages. The exact derivation is unclear, the Old English fiæll or feallan and the Old Norse fall all being possible candidates. However, these words all have the meaning "to fall from a height" and are clearly derived either from a common root or from each other. The term came to denote the season in the 16th century, a contraction of Middle English expressions like "fall of the leaf" and "fall of the year".
During the 17th century, English immigration to the colonies in North America was at its peak, and the new settlers took their language with them. While the term fall gradually became obsolescent in Britain, it became the more common term in North America, where autumn is nonetheless preferred in scientific and often in literary contexts.

Historic usage

Many ancient civilizations (such as the Amerindians and the ancient Hebrews) computed the years by autumns, while the Anglo-Saxons did so by winters. Tacitus states that the ancient Germans were acquainted with all the other seasons of the year but had no notion of autumn — though this is likely to be wrong, especially as a blanket statement (Tacitus wrote about Germanic tribes without firsthand knowledge and thus promoted myths as well as actual information). Linwood observed of the beginning of the several seasons of the year, that:
"Dat Clemens Hyemem, dat Petrus Ver Cathedratus;
Aestuat Urbanus, Autumnat Bartholomaeus."
In alchemy, autumn is the time or season when the operation of the Philosopher's stone is brought to maturity and perfection. Rainer Maria Rilke, a German poet, has expressed such sentiments in one of his most famous poems, Herbsttag (Autumn Day), which reads in part:
Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.
This translates roughly (there is no official translation) to:
Who now has no house, will not build one (anymore).
Who now is alone, will remain so for long,
will wake, and read, and write long letters
and back and forth on the boulevards
will restlessly wander, while the leaves blow.
Similar examples may be found in William Butler Yeats' poem The Wild Swans at Coole where the maturing season that the poet observes symbolically represents his own aging self. Like the natural world that he observes he too has reached his prime and now must look forward to the inevitability of old age and death. Paul Verlaine's "Chanson d'automne" ("Autumn Song") is likewise characterized by strong, painful feelings of sorrow.

Other associations

In the U.S., autumn is also associated with the Halloween season (which in turn was influenced by Samhain, a Celtic autumn festival), and with it a widespread marketing campaign that promotes it. The television, film, book, costume, home decoration, and confectionery industries use this time of year to promote products closely associated with such holiday, with promotions going from early September to 31 October, since their themes rapidly lose strength once the holiday ends, and advertising starts concentrating on Christmas.
Since 1997, Autumn has been one of the top 100 names for girls in the United States.


Although colour change in leaves occurs wherever deciduous trees are found, coloured autumn foliage is most famously noted in two regions of the world: most of Canada and the United States; and Eastern Asia, including China, Korea, and Japan. It can also be very significant in Argentina, Australia, Chile and New Zealand, but not to the same degree. Eastern Canada and the New England region of the United States are famous for the brilliance of their fall foliage, and a seasonal tourist industry has grown up around the few weeks in autumn when the leaves are at their peak.



External links

fall in Arabic: خريف
fall in Aragonese: Agüerro
fall in Asturian: Seronda
fall in Bavarian: Hiachst
fall in Bosnian: Jesen
fall in Bulgarian: Есен (сезон)
fall in Catalan: Tardor
fall in Czech: Podzim
fall in Welsh: Hydref (tymor)
fall in Danish: Efterår
fall in German: Herbst
fall in Estonian: Sügis
fall in Modern Greek (1453-): Φθινόπωρο
fall in Erzya: Сёксь
fall in Spanish: Otoño
fall in Esperanto: Aŭtuno
fall in Basque: Udazken
fall in Persian: پاییز
fall in French: Automne
fall in Friulian: Sierade
fall in Galician: Outono
fall in Classical Chinese: 秋
fall in Korean: 가을
fall in Hindi: वर्षा ऋतु
fall in Croatian: Jesen
fall in Indonesian: Musim gugur
fall in Icelandic: Haust
fall in Italian: Autunno
fall in Hebrew: סתיו
fall in Georgian: შემოდგომა
fall in Haitian: Lotòn
fall in Kurdish: Payiz
fall in Latin: Autumnus
fall in Lithuanian: Ruduo
fall in Hungarian: Ősz
fall in Macedonian: Есен
fall in Dutch: Herfst
fall in Dutch Low Saxon: Haarfst
fall in Japanese: 秋
fall in Norwegian: Høst
fall in Norwegian Nynorsk: Haust
fall in Narom: Arryire
fall in Uzbek: Kuz
fall in Polish: Jesień
fall in Portuguese: Outono
fall in Romanian: Toamnă
fall in Russian: Осень
fall in Scots: Hairst
fall in Southern Sotho: Lehwetla
fall in Simple English: Autumn
fall in Slovenian: Jesen
fall in Serbian: Јесен
fall in Serbo-Croatian: Jesen
fall in Finnish: Syksy
fall in Swedish: Höst
fall in Tatar: Köz
fall in Thai: ฤดูใบไม้ร่วง
fall in Vietnamese: Mùa thu
fall in Tajik: Тирамоҳ
fall in Turkish: Sonbahar
fall in Ukrainian: Осінь
fall in Venetian: Autuno
fall in Võro: Süküs
fall in Walloon: Waeyén-tins
fall in Yiddish: הארבסט
fall in Contenese: 秋天
fall in Dimli: Payız
fall in Samogitian: Rudou
fall in Chinese: 秋季
fall in Slovak: Jeseň

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Niagara, Scotch mist, Waterloo, abate, abatement, ablate, accept, apostasy, ascend, assail, assault, associate with, attack, autumn, backslide, backsliding, bag, bank, bate, be destroyed, be eaten away, be found, be found wanting, be killed, be lost, be met with, be realized, be unsuccessful, beat down, beating, befall, befriend, begin, belly buster, belly flop, belly whopper, beset, betide, bite the dust, blood rain, bouleversement, bow, break, break up, breakdown, call on, call upon, cannonball, cant, capitulate, capitulation, capsize, capture, careen, cascade, catabasis, cataract, cave in, cease to be, cease to live, cheapen, chignon, chute, clash, climb, collapse, come, come a cropper, come about, come down, come off, come to naught, come to nothing, come to pass, come true, comedown, commence, conquering, conquest, consume, consume away, convulsion, corrode, count on, crash, crash dive, cropper, crumble, crumble to dust, crumple, culbute, cut, cut prices, daggle, dangle, deathblow, debacle, debasement, decadence, decadency, decay, decease, deceleration, declension, declination, decline, decline and fall, declivity, decrease, decrescendo, defeat, deflate, deflation, defluxion, deformation, degeneracy, degenerate, degenerateness, degeneration, degradation, deliquesce, demotion, depart, depart this life, depend, depravation, depravedness, depreciate, depreciation, derogation, descend, descending, descension, descent, destruction, deteriorate, deterioration, devaluate, devolution, die, die away, die down, differ, diminish, diminuendo, diminution, dip, dip down, disagree, disappoint, disintegrate, dispute, dive, down, downbend, downcome, downcurve, downfall, downflow, downgate, downgrade, downhill, downpour, downrush, downtrend, downturn, downward mobility, downward trend, drabble, drag, draggle, drape, draw back, drizzle, droop, drop, drop dead, drop down, drop off, dropping, drubbing, drum, dwindle, dwindling, dying, ebb, eclipse, effeteness, employ, erode, err, evening mist, eventuate, expire, fade, fading, fail, failing, failure, failure of nerve, fall again into, fall asleep, fall away, fall back, fall behind, fall dead, fall down, fall flat, fall for, fall from grace, fall headlong, fall in, fall in price, fall in with, fall of Adam, fall of man, fall off, fall out, fall over, fall prostrate, fall short, fall stillborn, fall through, fall to, fall to pieces, falling, falling-off, falls, false hair, fight, fizzle out, flap, flop, flounder, flow, flurry, force, forced landing, fragment, gainer, get a cropper, get cracking, get moving, get under way, give in, give up, give way, go, go about, go along with, go astray, go down, go downhill, go off, go out, go to pieces, go to ruin, go to smash, go under, go uphill, go wrong, gout of rain, grade, gravitate, gravitation, hang, hang down, hanging, hap, happen, harvest, harvest home, harvest time, have a relapse, have enough, have recourse to, header, hiding, hit a slump, hit rock bottom, hit the skids, inclination, incline, involution, jackknife, jew down, join, keel, keel over, lag, lambasting, languish, lapse, lapse back, lathering, lay an egg, lean, lessen, let up, lick the dust, licking, linn, list, lop, lose, lose altitude, lose out, lose the day, loss of tone, lower, lowering, lurch, make use of, mark down, mastery, melt away, miscarry, miss, mist, misty rain, mizzle, moderate, moisture, nappe, nod, nose dive, nose-dive, nosedive, occur, overcoming, overthrow, overturn, parachute, parachute jump, pare, part, pass, pass away, pass off, pass on, pass over, patter, pelt, pend, perish, pitch, pitter-patter, plop, plummet, plummeting, plump, plunge, plunk, pounce, pounce on, pounce upon, pour, pour down, pour with rain, power dive, pratfall, precipitate, precipitation, prostration, put off mortality, quarrel, quietus, quit this world, rain, rain tadpoles, raindrop, rainfall, rainwater, rake, rapids, rat, reach the depths, recede, recidivate, recidivation, recidivism, recur to, reduce, regress, regression, relapse, relent, remission, resort to, retire, retreat, retrocession, retrogradation, retrogression, return to, return to dust, revert, revert to, rise, ruin, run down, run low, running dive, sabotage, sag, sault, say uncle, seizure, set about, set upon, settle, shatter, shave, sheet of rain, shelve, shower, shower down, shrink, sidle, sin of Adam, sink, sink back, sinking, skid, skin-dive, sky dive, sky-dive, slacken, slant, slash, slide, slide back, slip, slip back, slippage, slope, slowdown, slump, smash, sound, spatter, spill, spit, splatter, spout, sprawl, spread-eagle, sprinkle, squabble, stagger, start, stationary dive, stoop, stop breathing, storm, stream, strike, stumble, subdual, subduing, subjugation, submission, submit, subside, subsidence, subversion, succumb, succumb to, support, surrender, swag, swallow, swan dive, sway, swing, switch, swoop, swoop down, tackle, tail off, tailspin, take a fall, take a flop, take a header, take a pratfall, take a spill, take on, take place, take the count, taking, tattoo, thrashing, tilt, tip, topple, topple down, topple over, totter, touch bottom, trail, transpire, trend downward, trim, trimming, trip, trouncing, tumble, turn turtle, undertake, undoing, unfrozen hydrometeor, up and die, upheaval, uprise, upset, use, vanquishment, wane, waste, waste away, waterfall, watershoot, wear, wear away, weep, wet, whipping, withdraw, wrangle, yield, yield again to, yield the ghost
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1