Definition of fall verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//fɔːl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːl//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they fall
    BrE BrE//fɔːl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːl//
    he / she / it falls
    BrE BrE//fɔːlz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fɔːlz//
    past simple fell
    BrE BrE//fel//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fel//
    past participle fallen
    BrE BrE//ˈfɔːlən//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfɔːlən//
    -ing form falling
    BrE BrE//ˈfɔːlɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfɔːlɪŋ//
    Trends, Conflict
    jump to other results
    drop down
  1. 1  [intransitive] to drop down from a higher level to a lower level September had come and the leaves were starting to fall. They were injured by falling rocks. + adv./prep. Several of the books had fallen onto the floor. One of the kids fell into the river. The handle had fallen off the drawer. He fell 20 metres onto the rocks below. The rain was falling steadily.
  2. stop standing
  3. 2  [intransitive] to suddenly stop standing She slipped on the ice and fell. + adv./prep. I fell over and cut my knee. The house looked as if it was about to fall down. see also fallen
  4. of hair/material
  5. 3  [intransitive] + adv./prep. to hang down Her hair fell over her shoulders in a mass of curls.
  6. slope downwards
  7. 4  [intransitive] fall (away/off) to slope downwards The land falls away sharply towards the river.
  8. decrease
  9. 5  [intransitive] to decrease in amount, number or strength Their profits have fallen by 30 per cent. Prices continued to fall on the stock market today. The temperature fell sharply in the night. falling birth rates Her voice fell to a whisper. + noun Share prices fell 30p. See related entries: Trends
  10. opposite rise
    be defeated
  11. 6[intransitive] to be defeated or captured The coup failed but the government fell shortly afterwards. fall to somebody Troy finally fell to the Greeks. See related entries: Conflict
  12. die in battle
  13. 7[intransitive] (literary) to die in battle; to be shot a memorial to those who fell in the two world wars
  14. become
  15. 8  [intransitive] to pass into a particular state; to begin to be something + adj. He had fallen asleep on the sofa. The book fell open at a page of illustrations. The room had fallen silent. She fell ill soon after and did not recover. fall into something I had fallen into conversation with a man on the train. The house had fallen into disrepair. + noun She knew she must not fall prey to his charm.
  16. happen/occur
  17. 9[intransitive] (literary) to come quickly and suddenly synonym descend A sudden silence fell. Darkness falls quickly in the tropics. fall on somebody/something An expectant hush fell on the guests.
  18. 10[intransitive] + adv./prep. to happen or take place My birthday falls on a Monday this year.
  19. 11[intransitive] + adv./prep. to move in a particular direction or come in a particular position My eye fell on (= I suddenly saw) a curious object. Which syllable does the stress fall on? A shadow fell across her face.
  20. belong to group
  21. 12[intransitive] + adv./prep. to belong to a particular class, group or area of responsibility Out of over 400 staff there are just 7 that fall into this category. This case falls outside my jurisdiction. This falls under the heading of scientific research.
  22. Word OriginOld English fallan, feallan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vallen and German fallen; the noun is partly from the verb, partly from Old Norse fall ‘downfall, sin’. Language BankfallDescribing a decrease Car crime in Oxford fell significantly last year. Car crime fell by about a quarter over a 12-month period. The number of stolen vehicles dropped from 1 013 to 780, a fall of 26 per cent. According to this data, 780 vehicles were stolen, 26% down on the previous year. There was an 11% drop in reported thefts from motor vehicles, from 1 971 to 1 737. These figures show that, as far as car crime is concerned, the main trend is downwards.Extra examples A tile fell off the roof. Demand is likely to fall by some 15%. Expenditure on education fell by 10% last year. He fell from the fourth floor. He fell overboard in heavy seas. He stumbled and almost fell. Her hands fell limply to her sides. Loose bricks were falling down onto the ground. One of the children fell over. Out of over 400 staff there are just 14 that fall into this category. She fell headlong, with a cry of alarm. She fell heavily to the ground. She lifted her arm, but then let it fall. Tears fell freely from her eyes. That topic falls outside the scope of this thesis. The number of people unemployed has fallen from two million to just over one and a half million. The plate fell to the floor. The price of coal fell sharply. This case falls squarely within the committee’s jurisdiction. Winter temperatures never fall below 10°C. the snow falling on the fields 70 millimetres of rain fell in just a few hours. Falling birth rates could have an impact on future economic growth. He fell 23 metres onto the rocks below. She slipped and fell on the ice.Idioms Idioms containing fall are at the entries for the nouns and adjectives in the idioms, for example fall by the wayside is at wayside.  Phrasal Verbsfall aboutfall apartfall awayfall backfall back on somebodyfall behindfall behind with somethingfall downfall for somebodyfall for somethingfall infall into somethingfall in with somebodyfall offfall on somebodyfall outfall out (with somebody)fall overfall over somebodyfall over yourself to do somethingfall throughfall to somebodyfall to something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: fall