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 barometer. "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. 10)
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)
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. Davies)
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 labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." (Heb. Iv. 11)
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." (Addison)
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. 18) "They do not make laws, they fall into customs." (H. Spencer)
19. To be dropped or uttered carelessly; as, an unguarded expression fell from his lips; not a murmur fell from him. To fall abroad of To meet, as a ship; also, to discover or come near, as land. To concur with; to agree with; as, the measure falls in with popular opinion. To comply; to yield to. "You will find it difficult to persuade learned men to fall in with your projects." . To fall off. To drop; as, fruits fall off when ripe. To withdraw; to separate; to become detached; as, friends fall off in adversity. "Love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide." . To perish; to die away; as, words fall off by disuse. 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) To forsake; to abandon; as, his customers fell off. 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!" .
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. To meet with; to light upon; as, we have fallen on evil days. To begin suddenly and eagerly. "Fall on, and try the appetite to eat." . To begin an attack; to assault; to assail. "Fall on, fall on, and hear him not." . To drop on; to descend on. To fall out. To quarrel; to begin to contend. "A soul exasperated in ills falls out With everything, its friend, itself." (Addison) To happen; to befall; to chance. "There fell out a bloody quarrel betwixt the frogs and the mice." .
To leave the ranks, as a soldier. To fall over. To revolt; to desert from one side to another. To fall beyond. 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." . To fall under. To come under, or within the limits of; to be subjected to; as, they fell under the jurisdiction of the emperor. 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. 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 order. To fall upon. To attack. [See To fall on] To attempt; to have recourse to. "I do not intend to fall upon nice disquisitions."
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 applications.
Origin: AS. Feallan; akin to D. Vallen, OS. & OHG. Fallan, G. Fallen, Icel. Falla, Sw. Falla, Dan. Falde, Lith. Pulti, L. Fallere to deceive, Gr. Sfallein to cause to fall, Skr. Sphal, sphul, to tremble. Cf. Fail, Fell, to cause to fall.
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.
(01 Mar 1998)
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