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[krest-faw-luh n]
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  1. dejected; dispirited; discouraged.
  2. having a drooping crest or head.

Origin of crestfallen

First recorded in 1580–90; crest + fallen
Related formscrest·fall·en·ly, adverbcrest·fall·en·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for crestfallen


  1. dejected, depressed, or disheartened
Derived Formscrestfallenly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for crestfallen


1580s, past participle adjective, but the verb crestfall is recorded only from 1610s, in reference to diseased horses, and is rare. It's possible that the image behind this use of the word is not cocks, as often is asserted, but horses.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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