Word of the Day



to move quickly downwards from a higher position, usually by accident

Origin and usage

The origin of the word fall comes from the Old English word ‘fallan’, from the Germanic ‘feallan’, and is related to the Dutch ‘vallen.’ As a noun, fall can convey an idea of downfall or sin. The word fall has a variety of different noun and verb usages associated with it, which all generally imply a sense of downward movement.


Accidental falls are the second leading cause of death and injury across the world, with people older than the age of 65 being the most affected demographic. Most falls are non-fatal, but the high amount and severity of falls that occur worldwide is a problem that is surpassed only by road traffic injuries.

The general act of falling is facilitated by the mechanical ability of an object to move about freely within the pull of gravity. In the case of an accidental fall, the object is quickly and unexpectedly forced from a higher position closer to the centre of mass that creates the gravitational pull. For all beings on earth, this new position is generally in the ground because the planet’s gravitational pull is concentrated in the centre of the planet.

In literature, art and culture, the idea of a fall usually implies some sort of rapid descent. This can be in a person’s situation, if they have a lot of bad luck or make numerous decisions that go wrong, for example.


“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

(Marilyn Monroe)

“Keep your face to the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.”

(Walt Whitman)


slip, plunge, go down, descend

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary is an award-winning, one-stop reference for English learners and speakers around the world.

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