fall Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Definition of “fall” - English Dictionary

"fall" in American English

See all translations

fallverb

us   /fɔl/ past tense fell /fel/ , past participle fallen /ˈfɔ·lən/
  • fall verb (ACCIDENT)

[I] (of people and animals) to move unintentionally or unexpectedly onto or toward the ground from a higher place: He fell and hurt his arm. Don’t fall over, honey! I fell down the stairs. She fell off the top of the ladder. Kathy tripped and fell (flat) on her face (= fell facing the ground).
  • fall verb (MOVE DOWN)

[I] to move down toward or drop to a lower position: They expect three inches of snow to fall tonight. Tears rolled down her cheeks and fell into her lap. Plaster was falling off the walls.
  • fall verb (BECOME LESS)

[I] to become less or lower in size, amount, or strength: Stock prices fell sharply in late March and early April. Her blood sugar levels fell below normal.
  • fall verb (CHANGE STATE)

[L] used to show a change from one state to another: He fell asleep reading the newspaper.
  • fall verb (BE DEFEATED)

[I] to be defeated or fail: The city fell to the enemy.
[I] If soldiers fall, they die: The statue honors soldiers who fell in battle.
  • fall verb (HAPPEN)

[I] to happen at a particular time: My birthday falls on a Friday this year. By the time we got home, night had fallen (= begun).
  • fall verb (BELONG TO)

[I always + adv/prep] to belong to a particular group, or to be part of a particular subject: Archaeology falls under the general subject of natural history.
  • fall verb (HANG DOWN)

[I always + adv/prep] (of hair or cloth) to hang down loosely: Her long, dark hair fell to her waist.

fallnoun

us   /fɔl/
  • fall noun (SEASON)

[C/U] also autumn the season of the year between summer and winter, lasting from September to December north of the equator and from March to June south of the equator, when fruits and crops finish growing and the leaves fall off the trees: [U] Fall is my favorite time of year. [U] She wants to take a vacation before fall classes start.
  • fall noun (ACCIDENT)

[C usually sing] the act of moving onto or toward the ground or to a lower position, often unintentionally or accidentally: She injured herself in a fall.
  • fall noun (DEFEAT)

[C usually sing] a defeat or loss of power: the fall of the Roman Empire
  • fall noun (DROP)

(Definition of fall from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)







"fall" in British English

See all translations

fallverb

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. The horse fell at the first fence. I fell down the stairs and injured my back. The object appeared to have fallen from a great height. The water's deep here, so don't fall in! She slipped and fell on the ice. He fell into the river and had to be rescued. I fell off my bike and scraped my knee. He was leaning out of the window and almost fell out. She fell under a bus and was killed instantly. She fell five metres to the bottom of the ravine. He fell to his death climbing the Matterhorn.
fall flat on your face informal
to fall and land with your face down: Poor Kathy fell flat on her face in the mud.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • 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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • 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. It was October and the leaves had 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).
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.
[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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • 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. She suddenly fell ill. The book fell open (= opened by chance) at a picture of Venice. The president has fallen strangely silent on the issue of gun control.UK Your rent falls due (= must be paid) on the first of the month. 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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • fall verb (BE DEFEATED)

C2 [I] to be beaten or defeated: The president fell from power during the military coup.UK The government finally fell after losing the support of the centre parties.
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 AD 455.UK The constituency fell to Labour at the last election, after ten years of Conservative rule.
[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.
[I] UK In cricket, when a wicket falls, the turn of the player who is hitting the ball ends: Ten wickets fell in 22 overs.
  • 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.
  • 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.

fallnoun

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 party at the last election.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • 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/foliage

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • 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)

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • fall noun (MOVEMENT 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
falls [plural]
often used in place names to mean a very wide waterfall, often made of many separate waterfalls: Niagara Falls
(Definition of fall from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"fall" in Business English

See all translations

fallverb

uk   /fɔːl/ us   fell, fallen
to become lower in value, amount, or level: House prices began to fall rapidly. Demand for new cars has fallen by over 40%. Stock prices fell sharply yesterday. Public sector salaries are expected to fall even further as the recession continues to bite. Inflation has fallen to its lowest level in 30 years.
to gradually get to be in a worse condition or state: The factory had fallen into disuse in recent years.
fall due
if a payment falls due at a particular time, it must be paid at that time: The rent falls due on the first day of the month.

fallnoun

uk   /fɔːl/ us  
[C, usually singular] a reduction in the amount or level of something: a fall in sth There are serious concerns about the fall in the value of the dollar. The FTSE 100 slumped 116 points on the back of a 160-point fall overnight on the Dow Jones. A further fall of 2% in property prices could seriously hamper economic recovery. The corporation reported a sharp fall in quarterly profits.
[S] a situation in which someone or something that has been successful fails: The documentary charts the rise and fall of America's third largest car company.
fall from grace
a situation in which someone who was popular, successful, etc. suddenly becomes unsuccessful, unpopular, etc.
(Definition of fall from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of fall?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“fall” in Business English

Avoiding common errors with the word enough.
Avoiding common errors with the word enough.
by ,
May 25, 2016
by Liz Walter Enough is a very common word, but it is easy to make mistakes with it. You need to be careful about its position in a sentence, and the prepositions or verb patterns that come after it. I’ll start with the position of enough in the sentence. When we use it with a noun,

Read More 

Word of the Day

ray

a narrow beam of light, heat, etc. travelling in a straight line from its place of origin

Word of the Day

convo noun
convo noun
May 23, 2016
informal a conversation The convo around concussions mostly focuses on guys who play football, but Chastain thinks that this whole thing could be a headache for women too.

Read More