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fall - definition and synonyms


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verb [intransitive] fall pronunciation in British English /fɔːl/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlefalling
past tensefell
past participlefallen
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  1. 1
    to move quickly downwards from a higher position, usually by accident
    fall off/through/out of etc: Ann’s just fallen downstairs and hurt her back.
    I keep falling off my bike.
    fall to your death: A climber fell to his death today.
    1. a.
      to come down towards or onto the ground from the sky
      Snow began to quietly fall.
      Bombs fell on the city throughout the night.
    2. b.



      fall down

      to move quickly down onto the ground from an upright or standing position
      I slipped and almost fell down.
      We heard the crash of falling trees.
      fall to the ground/floor: He collapsed and fell to the ground.
    3. c.
      to let yourself drop onto a bed, chair etc because you are tired
      fall into/onto: After work I just want to fall into bed and sleep.
  2. 2
    to become lower in level, amount, or value
    The temperature has been falling steadily all day.
    The programme was cancelled because of falling audience figures.
    fall by: Industrial production has fallen by 10%.
  3. 3
    to belong to a particular group or area of activity
    fall within/into: Those items fall into the category of luxury goods.
    fall outside: This question falls outside my area of expertise.
  4. 4
    to change into another state or condition
    fall asleep/ill: Shortly before Christmas she fell ill.
    fall into: I climbed into bed and fell into a deep sleep.
    fall into decay/disrepair/ruin/disuse: The building gradually fell into decay.
    1. a.
      if something falls open, it opens accidentally
      The book fell open at a map of the city.
  5. 5
    to happen on a particular day or date
    Christmas falls on a Saturday this year.
  6. 6
    to lose a position of power
    Divisions within the ruling party caused the government to fall.
    fall from power: The General fell from power in 1955.
  7. 7
    if a place falls in a war, a different army takes control of it
    The city is expected to fall within days.
    1. a.
  8. 9
    literary to hang down
    fall over/onto/to: Her long black hair fell over her shoulders.
  9. 10
    to slope downwards
    Here the land rises and falls in gentle hills.
  10. 11
    if someones voice falls, it becomes quieter
    His voice fell to a whisper.
  11. 14
    if the emphasis falls on a particular part of a word, you emphasize that part when you say or sing it
    In English, the stress in ‘Paris’ falls on the first syllable.


a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

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