Hypertext Webster Gateway: "fall"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Fall \Fall\ (f[add]l), v. i. [imp. {Fell}; p. p. {Fallen}; p.
pr. & vb. n. {Falling}.] [AS. feallan; akin to D. vallen, OS.
& OHG. fallan, G. fallen, Icel. Falla, Sw. falla, Dan. falde,
Lith. pulti, L. fallere to deceive, Gr. sfa`llein to cause to
fall, Skr. sphal, sphul, to tremble. Cf. {Fail}, {Fell}, v.
t., to cause to fall.]
1. To Descend, either suddenly or gradually; particularly, to
descend by the force of gravity; to drop; to sink; as, the
apple falls; the tide falls; the mercury falls in the

I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. --Luke
x. 18.

2. To cease to be erect; to take suddenly a recumbent
posture; to become prostrate; to drop; as, a child totters
and falls; a tree falls; a worshiper falls on his knees.

I fell at his feet to worship him. --Rev. xix.

3. To find a final outlet; to discharge its waters; to empty;
-- with into; as, the river Rhone falls into the

4. To become prostrate and dead; to die; especially, to die
by violence, as in battle.

A thousand shall fall at thy side. --Ps. xci. 7.

He rushed into the field, and, foremost fighting,
fell. --Byron.

5. To cease to be active or strong; to die away; to lose
strength; to subside; to become less intense; as, the wind

6. To issue forth into life; to be brought forth; -- said of
the young of certain animals. --Shak.

7. To decline in power, glory, wealth, or importance; to
become insignificant; to lose rank or position; to decline
in weight, value, price etc.; to become less; as, the
falls; stocks fell two points.

I am a poor falle man, unworthy now To be thy lord
and master. --Shak.

The greatness of these Irish lords suddenly fell and
vanished. --Sir J.

8. To be overthrown or captured; to be destroyed.

Heaven and earth will witness, If Rome must fall,
that we are innocent. --Addison.

9. To descend in character or reputation; to become degraded;
to sink into vice, error, or sin; to depart from the
faith; to apostatize; to sin.

Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest
any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
--Heb. iv. 11.

10. To become insnared or embarrassed; to be entrapped; to be
worse off than before; asm to fall into error; to fall
into difficulties.

11. To assume a look of shame or disappointment; to become or
appear dejected; -- said of the countenance.

Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
--Gen. iv. 5.

I have observed of late thy looks are fallen.

12. To sink; to languish; to become feeble or faint; as, our
spirits rise and fall with our fortunes.

13. To pass somewhat suddenly, and passively, into a new
state of body or mind; to become; as, to fall asleep; to
fall into a passion; to fall in love; to fall into

14. To happen; to to come to pass; to light; to befall; to
issue; to terminate.

The Romans fell on this model by chance. --Swift.

Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the
matter will fall. --Ruth. iii.

They do not make laws, they fall into customs. --H.

15. To come; to occur; to arrive.

The vernal equinox, which at the Nicene Council
fell on the 21st of March, falls now [1694] about
ten days sooner. --Holder.

16. To begin with haste, ardor, or vehemence; to rush or
hurry; as, they fell to blows.

They now no longer doubted, but fell to work heart
and soul. --Jowett
(Thucyd. ).

17. To pass or be transferred by chance, lot, distribution,
inheritance, or otherwise; as, the estate fell to his
brother; the kingdom fell into the hands of his rivals.

18. To belong or appertain.

If to her share some female errors fall, Look on
her face, and you'll forget them all. --Pope.

19. To be dropped or uttered carelessly; as, an unguarded
expression fell from his lips; not a murmur fell from

{To fall abroad of} (Naut.), to strike against; -- applied to
one vessel coming into collision with another.

{To fall among}, to come among accidentally or unexpectedly.

{To fall astern} (Naut.), to move or be driven backward; to
be left behind; as, a ship falls astern by the force of a
current, or when outsailed by another.

{To fall away}.
(a) To lose flesh; to become lean or emaciated; to pine.
(b) To renounce or desert allegiance; to revolt or rebel.
(c) To renounce or desert the faith; to apostatize.
``These . . . for a while believe, and in time of
temptation fall away.'' --Luke viii. 13.
(d) To perish; to vanish; to be lost. ``How . . . can the
soul . . . fall away into nothing?'' --Addison.
(e) To decline gradually; to fade; to languish, or become
faint. ``One color falls away by just degrees, and
another rises insensibly.'' --Addison.

{To fall back}.
(a) To recede or retreat; to give way.
(b) To fail of performing a promise or purpose; not to

{To fall back upon}.
(a) (Mil.) To retreat for safety to (a stronger position
in the rear, as to a fort or a supporting body of
(b) To have recourse to (a reserved fund, or some
available expedient or support).

{To fall calm}, to cease to blow; to become calm.

{To fall down}.
(a) To prostrate one's self in worship. ``All kings shall
fall down before him.'' --Ps. lxxii. 11.
(b) To sink; to come to the ground. ``Down fell the
beauteous youth.'' --Dryden.
(c) To bend or bow, as a suppliant.
(d) (Naut.) To sail or drift toward the mouth of a river
or other outlet.

{To fall flat}, to produce no response or result; to fail of
the intended effect; as, his speech fell flat.

{To fall foul of}.
(a) (Naut.) To have a collision with; to become entangled
(b) To attack; to make an assault upon.

{To fall from}, to recede or depart from; not to adhere to;
as, to fall from an agreement or engagement; to fall from
allegiance or duty.

{To fall from grace} (M. E. Ch.), to sin; to withdraw from
the faith.

{To fall home} (Ship Carp.), to curve inward; -- said of the
timbers or upper parts of a ship's side which are much
within a perpendicular.

{To fall in}.
(a) To sink inwards; as, the roof fell in.
(b) (Mil.) To take one's proper or assigned place in
line; as, to fall in on the right.
(c) To come to an end; to terminate; to lapse; as, on the
death of Mr. B., the annuuity, which he had so long
received, fell in.
(d) To become operative. ``The reversion, to which he had
been nominated twenty years before, fell in.''

{To fall into one's hands}, to pass, often suddenly or
unexpectedly, into one's ownership or control; as, to
spike cannon when they are likely to fall into the hands
of the enemy.

{To fall in with}.
(a) To meet with accidentally; as, to fall in with a
(b) (Naut.) To meet, as a ship; also, to discover or come
near, as land.
(c) To concur with; to agree with; as, the measure falls
in with popular opinion.
(d) To comply; to yield to. ``You will find it difficult
to persuade learned men to fall in with your
projects.'' --Addison.

{To fall off}.
(a) To drop; as, fruits fall off when ripe.
(b) To withdraw; to separate; to become detached; as,
friends fall off in adversity. ``Love cools,
friendship falls off, brothers divide.'' --Shak.
(c) To perish; to die away; as, words fall off by disuse.
(d) To apostatize; to forsake; to withdraw from the
faith, or from allegiance or duty.

Those captive tribes . . . fell off From God to
worship calves. --Milton.
(e) To forsake; to abandon; as, his customers fell off.
(f) To depreciate; to change for the worse; to
deteriorate; to become less valuable, abundant, or
interesting; as, a falling off in the wheat crop; the
magazine or the review falls off. ``O Hamlet, what a
falling off was there!'' --Shak.
(g) (Naut.) To deviate or trend to the leeward of the
point to which the head of the ship was before
directed; to fall to leeward.

{To fall on}.
(a) To meet with; to light upon; as, we have fallen on
evil days.
(b) To begin suddenly and eagerly. ``Fall on, and try the
appetite to eat.'' --Dryden.
(c) To begin an attack; to assault; to assail. ``Fall on,
fall on, and hear him not.'' --Dryden.
(d) To drop on; to descend on.

{To fall out}.
(a) To quarrel; to begin to contend.

A soul exasperated in ills falls out With
everything, its friend, itself. --Addison.
(b) To happen; to befall; to chance. ``There fell out a
bloody quarrel betwixt the frogs and the mice.''
(c) (Mil.) To leave the ranks, as a soldier.

{To fall over}.
(a) To revolt; to desert from one side to another.
(b) To fall beyond. --Shak.

{To fall short}, to be deficient; as, the corn falls short;
they all fall short in duty.

{To fall through}, to come to nothing; to fail; as, the
engageent has fallen through.

{To fall to}, to begin. ``Fall to, with eager joy, on homely
food.'' --Dryden.

{To fall under}.
(a) To come under, or within the limits of; to be
subjected to; as, they fell under the jurisdiction of
the emperor.
(b) To come under; to become the subject of; as, this
point did not fall under the cognizance or
deliberations of the court; these things do not fall
under human sight or observation.
(c) To come within; to be ranged or reckoned with; to be
subordinate to in the way of classification; as,
these substances fall under a different class or

{To fall upon}.
(a) To attack. [See {To fall on}.]
(b) To attempt; to have recourse to. ``I do not intend to
fall upon nice disquisitions.'' --Holder.
(c) To rush against.

Note: Fall primarily denotes descending motion, either in a
perpendicular or inclined direction, and, in most of
its applications, implies, literally or figuratively,
velocity, haste, suddenness, or violence. Its use is so
various, and so mush diversified by modifying words,
that it is not easy to enumerate its senses in all its

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Fall \Fall\, n.
1. The act of falling; a dropping or descending be the force
of gravity; descent; as, a fall from a horse, or from the
yard of ship.

2. The act of dropping or tumbling from an erect posture; as,
he was walking on ice, and had a fall.

3. Death; destruction; overthrow; ruin.

They thy fall conspire. --Denham.

Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit
before a fall. --Prov. xvi.

4. Downfall; degradation; loss of greatness or office;
termination of greatness, power, or dominion; ruin;
overthrow; as, the fall of the Roman empire.

Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall. --Pope.

5. The surrender of a besieged fortress or town; as, the fall
of Sebastopol.

6. Diminution or decrease in price or value; depreciation;
as, the fall of prices; the fall of rents.

7. A sinking of tone; cadence; as, the fall of the voice at
the close of a sentence.

8. Declivity; the descent of land or a hill; a slope.

9. Descent of water; a cascade; a cataract; a rush of water
down a precipice or steep; -- usually in the plural,
sometimes in the singular; as, the falls of Niagara.

10. The discharge of a river or current of water into the
ocean, or into a lake or pond; as, the fall of the Po
into the Gulf of Venice. --Addison.

11. Extent of descent; the distance which anything falls; as,
the water of a stream has a fall of five feet.

12. The season when leaves fall from trees; autumn.

What crowds of patients the town doctor kills, Or
how, last fall, he raised the weekly bills.

13. That which falls; a falling; as, a fall of rain; a heavy
fall of snow.

14. The act of felling or cutting down. ``The fall of
timber.'' --Johnson.

15. Lapse or declension from innocence or goodness.
Specifically: The first apostasy; the act of our first
parents in eating the forbidden fruit; also, the apostasy
of the rebellious angels.

16. Formerly, a kind of ruff or band for the neck; a falling
band; a faule. --B. Jonson.

17. That part (as one of the ropes) of a tackle to which the
power is applied in hoisting.

{Fall herring} (Zo["o]l.), a herring of the Atlantic ({Clupea
mediocris}); -- also called {tailor herring}, and {hickory

{To try a fall}, to try a bout at wrestling. --Shak.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Fall \Fall\, v. t.
1. To let fall; to drop. [Obs.]

For every tear he falls, a Trojan bleeds. --Shak.

2. To sink; to depress; as, to fall the voice. [Obs.]

3. To diminish; to lessen or lower. [Obs.]

Upon lessening interest to four per cent, you fall
the price of your native commodities. --Locke.

4. To bring forth; as, to fall lambs. [R.] --Shak.

5. To fell; to cut down; as, to fall a tree. [Prov. Eng. &
Local, U.S.]

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 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"
[syn: {Fall}]
4: a downward slope [syn: {descent}, {declivity}, {decline}, {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:
8: the act of surrendering (under agreed conditions); "they
were protected until the capitulation of the fort" [syn: {capitulation},
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}]
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:
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"; "when that became
known the price of their stock went into free fall" [syn:
{drop}, {free fall}]
v 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
shotting 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
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
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},
22: slope downward; "The hills around here fall towards the
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
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},

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