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90s Slang You Should Know


or fall-out

[fawl-out] /ˈfɔlˌaʊt/
the settling to the ground of airborne particles ejected into the atmosphere from the earth by explosions, eruptions, forest fires, etc., especially such settling from nuclear explosions (radioactive fallout)
Compare rainout.
the particles themselves.
Compare rainout.
an unexpected or incidental effect, outcome, or product:
the psychological fallout of being obese.
effects; results:
emotional fallout from a divorce.
Origin of fallout
First recorded in 1945-50; noun use of verb phrase fall out Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fallout
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I mean there isnt any sense fooling around with anybody whos taken a good deep breath of fallout.

    The Knights of Arthur Frederik Pohl
  • After Test Mike, the implications of fallout obviously were global.

    Atoms, Nature, and Man Neal O. Hines
  • And the fallout from so many atom bombs simply could not be risked.

    Operation Terror William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • Remember that fallout particles can be seen, but the rays they give off cannot be seen.

    In Time Of Emergency Department of Defense
  • Generally, the first 24 hours after fallout began to settle would be the most dangerous period to a community's residents.

    In Time Of Emergency Department of Defense
British Dictionary definitions for fallout


the descent of solid material in the atmosphere onto the earth, esp of radioactive material following a nuclear explosion
any solid particles that so descend
(informal) side-effects; secondary consequences
verb (intransitive, adverb)
(informal) to quarrel or disagree
(intransitive) to happen or occur
(military) to leave a parade or disciplinary formation
sentence substitute
(military) the order to leave a parade or disciplinary formation
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 fallout

"radioactive particles," 1950, from fall (v.) + out (adv.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for fallout



  1. An accompanying or resultant effect of something; an aftermath: Talking to oneself is a fallout of watching too many primaries on TV
  2. Incidental products, esp when copious and of little value: reports, memoranda, and other printed fallout from the executive suite

[1950s+; fr the radioactive dust and other debris of a nuclear explosion]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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