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[krest-faw-luh n] /ˈkrɛstˌfɔ lən/
dejected; dispirited; discouraged.
having a drooping crest or head.
Origin of crestfallen
First recorded in 1580-90; crest + fallen
Related forms
crestfallenly, adverb
crestfallenness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for crestfallen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I've not the least objection," said the crestfallen Parson basely.

  • So, whenever I met him, I defied him to do it; and he sloped off crestfallen, I can tell you.'

  • O'Rourke's crestfallen air stirred the sympathetic Souza's pity.

    The Snare Rafael Sabatini
  • "Ah, never look so glum," she cried, smiling now at his crestfallen air.

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • It appeared to my crestfallen perception that he meant to keep the window all to himself.

    A Set of Six Joseph Conrad
  • Chagrined, the lads looked at each other with crestfallen glances.

    Boy Scouts Mysterious Signal

    G. Harvey Ralphson
  • I was bitterly cast down, crestfallen, numbed with the blow of her refusal.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
British Dictionary definitions for crestfallen


dejected, depressed, or disheartened
Derived Forms
crestfallenly, 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
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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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