Definition for FALL

FALL, v.i. [pret. fell; pp. fallen. Sax. feallan; G. fallen; D. vallen; Sw. falla; Dan. falder; allied probably to L. fallo, to fail; to deceive, Gr. σφαλλω; Sp. hallar, to find, to fall on; Fr. affaler, to lower. See Class Bl, No. 18, 28, 43, 49, 52. Fall coincides exactly with the Shemitic נפל, Heb. Ch. Syr. and Sam. to fall. Fail agrees better with the Heb. נבל, and הבל, but these words may have had one primitive root, the sense of which was to move, to recede, to pass. As these words are unquestionably the same in the Shemitic and Japhetic languages, they afford decisive evidence that the נ or first letter of the Shemitic words is a prefix. The Chaldee sense of נבל is to defile, to make foul. See Foul. The same verb in Ar. نَبَلَ nabala, signifies to shoot, to drive or throw an arrow, Gr. βαλλω.]

  1. To drop from a higher place; to descend by the power of gravity alone. Rain falls from the clouds; a man falls from his horse; ripe fruits fall from trees; an ox falls into a pit. I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Luke x.
  2. To drop from an erect posture. I fell at his feet to worship him. Rev. xix.
  3. To disembogne; to pass at the outlet; to flow out of its channel into a pond, lake or sea, as a river. The Rhone falls into the Mediterranean Sea. The Danube falls into, the Euxine. The Mississippi falls into the Gulf of Mexico.
  4. To depart from the faith, or from rectitude; to apostatize. Adam fell by eating the forbidden fruit. Labor to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. Heb. iv.
  5. To die, particularly by violence. Ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. Lev. xxvi. A thousand shall fall at thy side. Ps. xci.
  6. To come to an end suddenly; to vanish; to perish. The greatness of these Irish lords suddenly fell and vanished. Davies.
  7. To be degraded; to sink into disrepute or disgrace; to be plunged into misery; as, to fall from an elevated station or from a prosperous state.
  8. To decline in power, wealth or glory; to sink into weakness; to be overthrown or ruined. This is the renowned Tyre; but oh, how fallen. Heaven and earth will witness, / If Rome must fall, that we are Innocent. Addison.
  9. To pass into a worse state than the former; to come; as, to fall into difficulties; to fall under censure or imputation; to fall into error or absurdity; to fall into a snare. In these and similar phrases, the sense of suddenness, accident or ignorance is often implied; but not always.
  10. To sink; to be lowered. The mercury in a thermometer rises and falls with the increase and diminution of heat. The water of a river rises and falls. The tide falls.
  11. To decrease; to be diminished in weight or value. The price of goods falls with plenty and rises with scarcity. Pliny tells us, the as fell from a pound to two ounces in the first Punic war. Arbuthnot.
  12. To sink; not to amount to the full. The greatness of finances and revenue doth fall under computation. Bacon.
  13. To be rejected; to sink into disrepute. This book must stand or fall with thee. Locke.
  14. To decline from violence to calmness, from intensity to remission. The wind falls and a calm succeeds. At length her fury fell. Dryden.
  15. To pass into a new state of body or mind; to become; as, to fall asleep; to full distracted; to fall sick; to fall into rage or passion; to fall in love; to fall into temptation.
  16. To sink into an air of dejection, discontent, anger, sorrow or shame; applied to the countenance or look. Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. Gen. iv. I have observed of late thy looks are fallen. Addison.
  17. To happen; to befall; to come. Since this fortune falls to you. Shak.
  18. To light on; to come by chance. The Romans fell on this model by chance. Swift.
  19. To come; to rush on; to assail. Fear and dread shall fall on them. Ex. xv. And fear fell on them all. Acts xix.
  20. To come; to arrive. The vernal equinox, which at the Nicene council fell on the 21st of March, falls now about ten days sooner. Holder.
  21. To come unexpectedly. It happened this evening that we fell into a pleasing walk. Addison.
  22. To begin with haste, ardor or vehemence; to rush or hurry to. They fell to blows. The mixt multitude fell to lusting. Num. xi.
  23. To pass or be transferred by chance, lot, distribution, inheritance or otherwise, as possession or property. The estate or the province fell to his brother. The kingdom fell into the hands of his rival. A large estate fell to his heirs.
  24. To become the property of; to belong or appertain to. If to her share some female errors fall, / Look in her face, and you'll forget them all. Pope.
  25. To be dropped or uttered carelessly. Some expressions fall from him. An unguarded expression fell from his lips. Not a word fell from him on the subject.
  26. To sink; to languish; to become feeble or faint. Our hopes and fears rise and fall with good or ill success.
  27. To be brought forth. Take care of lambs when they first fall. Mortimer.
  28. To issue; to terminate. Sit still, my daughter, till thou knowest how the matter will fall. Ruth iii. To fall aboard of, to strike against another ship. To fall astern, to move or be driven backward; or to remain behind. A ship falls astern by the force of a current, or when outsailed by another. To fall away, to lose flesh; to become lean or emaciated; to pine. #2. To renounce or desert allegiance; to revolt or rebel. #3. To renounce or desert the faith; to apostatize; to sink into wickedness. These for awhile believe, and in time of temptation fall away. Luke viii. #4. To perish; to be ruined; to be lost How can the soul – fall away into nothing. Addison. #5. 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, to recede; to give way. #2. To fail of performing a promise or purpose; not to fulfill. To fall calm, to cease to blow; to become calm. To fall down, to prostrate one's self in worship. All nations shall fall down before him. Ps. lxxii. #2. To sink; to come to the ground. Down fell the beauteous youth. Dryden. #3. To bend or bow as a suppliant. Isaiah xlv. #4. To sail or pass toward the mouth of a river, or other outlet. To fall foul, to attack; to make an assault. To fall from, to recede from; to depart; not to adhere; as, to fall from an agreement or engagement. #2. To depart from allegiance or duty; to revolt. To fall in, to concur; to agree with. The measure falls in with popular opinion. #2. To comply; to yield to. You will find it difficult to persuade learned men to fall in with your projects. Addison. #3. To come in; to join; to enter. Fall info the ranks; fall in on the right. To fall in with, to meet, as a ship; also, to discover or come near, as land. To fall off, to withdraw; to separate; to be broken or detached. Friends fall off in adversity. Love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide. Shak. #2. To perish; to die away. Words fall off by disuse. #3. To apostatize; to forsake; to withdraw from the faith, or from allegiance or duty. Those captive tribes felt off From God to worship calves. Milton. #4. To forsake; to abandon. His subscribers fell off. #5. To drop. Fruits fall off when ripe. #6. To depreciate; to depart from former excellence; to become less valuable or interesting. The magazine or the review falls off; it has fallen off. #7. To deviate or depart from the course directed, or to which the head of the ship was before directed; to fall to leeward. To fall on, to begin suddenly and eagerly. Fall on, and try the appetite to eat. Dryden. #2. To begin an attack; to assault; to assail. Fall on, fall on, and hear him not. Dryden. #3. To drop on; to descend on. To fall out, to quarrel; to begin to contend. A soul exasperated in ills, falls out With every thing, its friend, itself. Addison. #2. To happen; to befall; to chance. There fell out a bloody quarrel betwixt the frogs and the mice. L'Estrange. To fall over, to revolt; to desert from one side to another. #2. To fall beyond. Shak. To fall short, to be deficient. The corn falls short. We all fall short in duty. To fall to, to begin hastily and eagerly. Fall to, with eager joy, on homely food. Dryden. #2. To apply one's self to. He will never after fall to labor. They fell to raising money, under pretense of the relief of Ireland. Clarendon. To fall under, to come under, or within the limits of; to be subjected to. They fell under the jurisdiction of the emperor. #2. To come under; to become the subject of. This point did not fall under the cognizance or deliberations of the court. These things do not fall under human sight or observation. #3. To come within; to be ranged or reckoned with. These substances fall under a different class or order. To fall upon, to attack. [See To fall on.] #2. To attempt. I do not intend to fall upon nice disquisitions. Holder. #3. To rush against. 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 much diversified by modifying words, that it is not easy to enumerate its senses in all its applications.

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