- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for fallout
But the fallout from the Panetta book will be significant over time.Exposed: The White House’s Professor-in-Chief
October 8, 2014
The fallout of this loss of trust has had an enormous impact on the outbreak.1976 Vs. Today: Ebola’s Terrifying Evolution
September 10, 2014
More recently, the fallout from the Arab Spring across the region has given the two powers many more sandboxes in which to play.The Middle East Cold War and U.S.
August 20, 2014
“Matt was genuinely hurt by all the Ann Curry fallout,” says the network news insider.The Morning Show ‘Hunger Games’
April 3, 2014
Conservative evangelicalism is losing millennials in gobs, and the World Vision fallout is sure to only accelerate the fallout.World Vision’s Gay Compromise
March 26, 2014
People dying of disease and worried about dying from radiation and fallout.This Crowded Earth
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
In some places, a boat would provide some fallout protection.
Remember that fallout particles can be seen, but the rays they give off cannot be seen.
- 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
- informal to quarrel or disagree
- (intr) to happen or occur
- military to leave a parade or disciplinary formation
- 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
Word Origin and History for fallout
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper