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English definition of “fall”


verb uk   /fɔːl/ us    /fɑːl/ (fell, fallen)

fall verb (HAVE AN ACCIDENT)

A2 [I] to suddenly go down onto the ground or towards the ground without intending to or by accident: The path's very steep, so be careful you don't fall. He fell badly and broke his leg. Athletes have to learn how to fall without hurting themselves. She fell under a bus and was killed instantly. The horse fell at the first fence. I fell down the stairs and injured my back. She had fallen, it appeared, from a great height. The water's deep here, so don't fall in! He fell into the river and drowned. If you fell off the roof, you'd kill yourself. He was leaning out of the window and fell out. She fell five metres to the bottom of the ravine. He fell to his death climbing the Matterhorn.Falling and droppingMoving downwards fall flat on your face informal to fall and land with your face down: Poor Kathy fell flat on her face in the mud.Falling and droppingMoving downwards

fall verb (BECOME LOWER)

B1 [I] to become lower in size, amount, or strength: Demand for new cars has fallen due to the recession. The standard of his work has fallen during the year. Salaries in the public sector are expected to fall by 15 percent this year. The temperature could fall below zero overnight. Average temperatures fell by ten degrees. The pound has fallen to its lowest-ever level against the dollar. When the teacher walked in, the children's voices fell to a whisper (= they became very quiet). Share prices fell sharply this week.Becoming and making smaller or lessBecoming and making less strong

fall verb (COME DOWN)

A2 [I] to come down onto the ground or from a high position to a lower position: The snow had been falling steadily all day. You can tell it's autumn because the leaves have started to fall. She fell into bed, completely exhausted. A bomb fell on the church and destroyed it. A huge meteor fell to Earth in the middle of the desert. He begged for mercy as the blows fell on him (= as he was being hit).Moving downwardsFalling and dropping fall to your knees (also fall down on your knees) to go down on your knees to show respect: The people all fell to their knees and began to pray.Showing respect and admiration [I] When the curtain falls in the theatre, it comes down because the play or performance has ended: The audience was still laughing as the curtain fell.Moving downwardsFalling and dropping

fall verb (BELONG TO)

[I usually + adv/prep] to belong to a particular group, subject, or area: The material falls into three categories. Matters of discipline fall outside my area of responsibility.Duty, obligation and responsibility

fall verb (BECOME)

B1 [I + adv/prep, L] to change to a particular condition from a different one: He always falls asleep after drinking red wine. Your rent falls due (= must be paid) on the first of the month. She suddenly fell ill. The book fell open (= opened by chance) at the page on Venice. The government has fallen strangely silent on the subject of tax cuts after all its promises at the last election. Silence fell on the group of men (= they became silent) as they received the news. She fell under the influence of (= began to be influenced by) an older student.ChangingAdapting and modifying Adapting and attuning to somethingChanging frequently

fall verb (BE DEFEATED)

C2 [I] to be beaten or defeated: The government finally fell after losing the support of the centre parties. The president fell from power during the military coup.Losing and being defeatedScoring, winning and losing in sport C2 [I] If a place falls in a war or an election, an enemy army or a different political party gets control of it: Rome fell to the Vandals in A.D. 455. The constituency fell to Labour at the last election, after ten years of Conservative rule.Losing and being defeatedScoring, winning and losing in sport [I] literary If soldiers fall while fighting, they are killed: Many brave men fell in the fight to save the city. During the war, he saw many of his comrades fall in battle.Death and dying [I] In cricket, when a wicket falls, the turn of the player who is hitting the ball ends: Ten wickets fell in 22 overs.CricketGeneral terms used in ball sports

fall verb (HAPPEN)

C2 [I] to come at a particular time or happen in a particular place: Easter falls late this year. My birthday will fall on a Friday this year. Night/Darkness had fallen by the time we got back to the camp. In the word 'table', the accent falls on the first syllable. The Treasury has still not decided where the cuts will fall.Occurring and happening

fall verb (HANG DOWN)

C2 [I usually + adv/prep] to hang down loosely: The boy's hair fell around his shoulders in golden curls. The veil fell almost to her waist.Hanging and suspending

fall verb (UNHAPPY)

your face/spirits fall If your face falls, you suddenly look unhappy or disappointed, and if your spirits fall, you suddenly feel unhappy or disappointed: His spirits fell when he saw the distance he still had to go. As she read her exam results, her face fell.Disappointing yourself and others


noun uk   /fɔːl/ us    /fɑːl/

fall noun (LOWER AMOUNT)

B1 [C usually singular] the fact of the size, amount, or strength of something getting lower: a fall in the price of petrol/the unemployment rate We could hear the rise and fall of voices in the other room. There was a fall in support for the Republican party at the last election.Becoming and making smaller or lessBecoming and making less strong

fall noun (SEASON)

[C or U] US (UK autumn) the season after summer and before winter, when fruits and crops become ready to eat and the leaves fall off the trees: I'm starting college in the fall. Next fall we'll be back in New York. a fall day/morning fall colours/foliageThe seasons

fall noun (ACCIDENT)

B2 [C usually singular] the act of falling down to the ground, usually without intending to or by accident: He had/took a nasty fall and hurt his back. the fall of the Berlin Wall (= when the Berlin Wall was destroyed)Falling and droppingMoving downwards


[C usually singular] an amount of something that moves down onto the ground or from a higher position to a lower position: a heavy fall of snow
See also
Moving downwardsFalling and dropping
falls [plural] often used in place names to mean a very wide waterfall, often made of many separate waterfalls: Niagara FallsWatercourses and waterfalls

fall noun (DEFEAT)

C1 [C usually singular] the fact of being defeated or losing your power: the fall of Rome The army took control of the city after the president's fall from power.Losing and being defeatedScoring, winning and losing in sport
(Definition of fall from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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