fall ( falls plural & 3rd person present) ( falling present participle) ( fell past tense) ( fallen past participle )
1 verb If someone or something falls, they move quickly downwards onto or towards the ground, by accident or because of a natural force.
Her father fell into the sea after a massive heart attack... V prep
Bombs fell in the town... V
I ought to seal the boxes up. I don't want the books falling out... V out/off
Twenty people were injured by falling masonry. V-ing
Fall is also a noun., n-count oft N from n
The helmets are designed to withstand impacts equivalent to a fall from a bicycle.
2 verb If a person or structure that is standing somewhere falls, they move from their upright position, so that they are then lying on the ground.
The woman gripped the shoulders of her man to stop herself from falling... V
We watched buildings fall on top of people and pets... V prep/adv
He lost his balance and fell backwards. V prep/adv
Fall is also a noun., n-count
Mrs Briscoe had a bad fall last week.
Fall down means the same as fall., phrasal verb
I hit him so hard he fell down... V P
Children jumped from upper floors as the building fell down around them. V P
fallen adj ADJ n
A number of roads have been blocked by fallen trees.
3 verb When rain or snow falls, it comes down from the sky.
Winds reached up to 100mph in some places with an inch of rain falling within 15 minutes. V
Fall is also a noun., n-count N of n
One night there was a heavy fall of snow.
4 verb If you fall somewhere, you allow yourself to drop there in a hurried or disorganized way, often because you are very tired.
Totally exhausted, he tore his clothes off and fell into bed... V prep
5 verb If something falls, it decreases in amount, value, or strength.
(=drop) (Antonym: rise)
Output will fall by 6%... V by n
Her weight fell to under seven stones... V to/from n
Between July and August, oil product prices fell 0.2 per cent... V amount
The number of prosecutions has stayed static and the rate of convictions has fallen. V
...a time of falling living standards and emerging mass unemployment. V-ing
Fall is also a noun., n-count usu sing
There was a sharp fall in the value of the pound.
6 verb If a powerful or successful person falls, they suddenly lose their power or position.
There's a danger of the government falling because it will lose its majority... V
The moment Mrs Thatcher fell from power has left a lasting imprint on the world's memory. V from n
Fall is also a noun., n-sing with poss (Antonym: rise)
Following the fall of the military dictator in March, the country has had a civilian government...
7 verb If a place falls in a war or election, an enemy army or a different political party takes control of it.
Croatian army troops retreated from northern Bosnia and the area fell to the Serbs... V to n
With the announcement `Paphos has fallen!' a cheer went up from the assembled soldiers. V
Fall is also a noun., n-sing usu N of n
...the fall of Rome.
8 verb If someone falls in battle, they are killed.
LITERARY Another wave of troops followed the first, running past those who had fallen. V
9 v-link You can use fall to show that someone or something passes into another state. For example, if someone falls ill, they become ill, and if something falls into disrepair, it is then in a state of disrepair.
It is almost impossible to visit Florida without falling in love with the state... V in/into/out of n
I took Moira to the cinema, where she fell asleep... V adj
Almost without exception these women fall victim to exploitation. V n
10 verb If you say that something or someone falls into a particular group or category, you mean that they belong in that group or category.
The problems generally fall into two categories... V into n
Both women fall into the highest-risk group. V into n
11 verb If the responsibility or blame for something falls on someone, they have to take the responsibility or the blame for it.
WRITTEN That responsibility falls on the local office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees... V on n
12 verb If a celebration or other special event falls on a particular day or date, it happens to be on that day or date.
...the oddly named Quasimodo Sunday which falls on the first Sunday after Easter. V on n
13 verb When light or shadow falls on something, it covers it.
Nancy, out of the corner of her eye, saw the shadow that suddenly fell across the doorway. V across/over/on n
14 verb If someone's hair or a garment falls in a certain way, it hangs downwards in that way.
...a slender boy with black hair falling across his forehead. V prep/adv
15 verb If you say that someone's eyes fellon something, you mean they suddenly noticed it.
WRITTEN As he laid the flowers on the table, his eye fell upon a note in Grace's handwriting. V on/upon n
16 verb When night or darkness falls, night begins and it becomes dark.
As darkness fell outside, they sat down to eat at long tables. V
17 n-plural; n-in-names You can refer to a waterfall as thefalls.
...panoramic views of the falls., ...Niagara Falls.
18 n-var Fall is the season between summer and winter when the weather becomes cooler.
He was elected judge in the fall of 1991..., The Supreme Court will not hear the case until next fall.
in BRIT, use autumn
20 To fall to pieces, or in British English to fall to bits, means the same as to fall apart.
to fall to bits/pieces phrase V inflects
At that point the radio handset fell to pieces.
to fall on your feet
to fall foul of
to fall flat
to fall from grace
to fall into place
to fall short
to fall into the trap
to fall by the wayside
wayside fall apart
1 phrasal verb If something falls apart, it breaks into pieces because it is old or badly made.
The work was never finished and bit by bit the building fell apart. V P
2 phrasal verb If an organization or system falls apart, it becomes disorganized or unable to work effectively, or breaks up into its different parts.
Europe's monetary system is falling apart... V P
I've tried everything to stop our marriage falling apart. V P
3 phrasal verb If you say that someone is falling apart, you mean that they are becoming emotionally disturbed and are unable to think calmly or to deal with the difficult or unpleasant situation that they are in.
I was falling apart. I wasn't getting any sleep. V P fall away
1 phrasal verb If something falls away from the thing it is attached to, it breaks off.
Officials say that one or two engines fell away from the plane shortly after takeoff. V P from n, Also V P
2 phrasal verb If you say that land falls away, you mean it slopes downwards from a particular point.
On either side of the tracks the ground fell away sharply. V P
3 phrasal verb If the degree, amount, or size of something falls away, it decreases.
His coalition may hold a clear majority but this could quickly fall away... V P fall back
1 phrasal verb If you fall back, you move backwards a short distance away from someone or something.
He fell back in embarrassment when he saw that Ross had no hair at all... V P
The congregation fell back from them slightly as they entered. V P from n
2 phrasal verb If an army falls back during a battle or war, it withdraws.
The Prussian garrison at Charleroi was falling back. V P fall back on phrasal verb If you fall back on something, you do it or use it after other things have failed.
Unable to defeat him by logical discussion, she fell back on her old habit of criticizing his speech... V P P n
When necessary, instinct is the most reliable resource you can fall back on. V P P n fall behind
1 phrasal verb If you fall behind, you do not make progress or move forward as fast as other people.
Evans had rheumatic fever, missed school and fell behind... V P
Boris is falling behind all the top players. V P n
2 phrasal verb If you fall behind with something or let it fall behind, you do not do it or produce it when you should, according to an agreement or schedule.
He faces losing his home after falling behind with the payments... V P with n
Thousands of people could die because the relief effort has fallen so far behind... V P
Construction work fell behind schedule. V P n fall down
2 phrasal verb If an argument, organization, or person falls downon a particular point, they are weak or unsatisfactory on that point.
Service was outstandingly friendly and efficient, falling down on only one detail... V P on n
That is where his argument falls down. V P fall for
1 phrasal verb If you fall for someone, you are strongly attracted to them and start loving them.
He was fantastically handsome<endash>I just fell for him right away. V P n
2 phrasal verb If you fall for a lie or trick, you believe it or are deceived by it.
It was just a line to get you out here, and you fell for it! V P n fall in phrasal verb If a roof or ceiling falls in, it collapses and falls to the ground.
Part of my bedroom ceiling has fallen in. V P fall into phrasal verb If you fall into conversation or a discussion with someone, usually someone you have just met, you start having a conversation or discussion with them.
Over breakfast at my motel, I fell into conversation with the owner of a hardware shop. V P n fall off
1 phrasal verb If something falls off, it separates from the thing to which it was attached and moves towards the ground.
When your exhaust falls off, you have to replace it. V P
2 phrasal verb If the degree, amount, or size of something falls off, it decreases.
Unemployment is rising again and retail buying has fallen off. V P
falling-off fall on phrasal verb If you fall on something when it arrives or appears, you eagerly seize it or welcome it.
They fell on the sandwiches with alacrity. V P n fall out
1 phrasal verb If something such as a person's hair or a tooth falls out, it comes out.
Her hair started falling out as a result of radiation treatment. V P
2 phrasal verb If you fall out with someone, you have an argument and stop being friendly with them. You can also say that two people fall out.
She fell out with her husband... V P with n
Mum and I used to fall out a lot. pl-n V P
fallout fall over phrasal verb If a person or object that is standing falls over, they accidentally move from their upright position so that they are then lying on the ground or on the surface supporting them.
If he drinks more than two glasses of wine he falls over. V P fall through phrasal verb If an arrangement, plan, or deal falls through, it fails to happen.
They wanted to turn the estate into a private golf course and offered £20 million, but the deal fell through. V P fall to
1 phrasal verb If a responsibility, duty, or opportunity falls to someone, it becomes their responsibility, duty, or opportunity.
He's been very unlucky that no chances have fallen to him... V P n
It fell to me to get rid of them. it V P n to-inf
2 phrasal verb If someone falls to doing something, they start doing it. WRITTEN When she had departed, they fell to fighting among themselves. V P -ing
1 Fallen is the past participle of fall.
2 n-plural The fallen are soldiers who have died in battle.
LITERARY the N
Work began on establishing the cemeteries as permanent memorials to the fallen.