View synonyms for cascade


[ kas-keyd ]


  1. a waterfall descending over a steep, rocky surface.
  2. a series of shallow or steplike waterfalls, either natural or artificial.
  3. anything that resembles a waterfall, especially in seeming to flow or fall in abundance:

    a cascade of roses covering the wall.

  4. (in a drain or sewer) a chain of steps for dissipating the momentum of falling water in a steep place in order to maintain a steady rate of flow.
  5. an arrangement of a lightweight fabric in folds falling one over another in random or zigzag fashion.
  6. a type of firework resembling a waterfall in effect.
  7. Chemistry. a series of vessels, from each of which a fluid successively overflows to the next, thus presenting a large absorbing surface, as to a gas.
  8. Electricity. an arrangement of component devices, as electrolytic cells, each of which feeds into the next in succession.
  9. Biochemistry. a series of reactions catalyzed by enzymes that are activated sequentially by successive products of the reactions, resulting in an amplification of the initial response.

verb (used without object)

, cas·cad·ed, cas·cad·ing.
  1. to fall in or like a cascade.

verb (used with object)

, cas·cad·ed, cas·cad·ing.
  1. to cause to fall in a cascade.
  2. Electricity. to arrange (components) in a cascade.


/ kæsˈkeɪd /


  1. a waterfall or series of waterfalls over rocks
  2. something resembling this, such as folds of lace
    1. a consecutive sequence of chemical or physical processes
    2. ( as modifier )

      cascade liquefaction

    1. a series of stages in the processing chain of an electrical signal where each operates the next in turn
    2. ( as modifier )

      a cascade amplifier

  3. the cumulative process responsible for the formation of an electrical discharge, cosmic-ray shower, or Geiger counter avalanche in a gas
  4. the sequence of spontaneous decays by an excited atom or ion
“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


  1. intr to flow or fall in or like a cascade
“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


/ kăs-kād /

  1. A series of chemical or physiological processes that occur in successive stages, each of which is dependent on the preceding one, to produce a culminating effect. The steps involved in the clotting of blood occur as a cascade.

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Other Words From

  • cas·cader noun
  • uncas·caded adjective
  • uncas·cading adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of cascade1

First recorded in 1635–45; from French, from Italian cascata, from casc(are) “to fall” (from Vulgar Latin cāsicāre (unrecorded), from cās(us) “fallen,” past participle of cadere “to fall”; cadenza, case 1 ) + -ata -ade 1
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Word History and Origins

Origin of cascade1

C17: from French, from Italian cascata, from cascare to fall, ultimately from Latin cadere to fall
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Example Sentences

Although there certainly is some signal in the probabilities of safe states, in simulations such as these, including them can cause enormous cascades in which a state like Kansas goes blue and so does the rest of America.

From Ozy

So the phytoplankton that can feed a cascade of ocean life don’t bloom here.

Failure to fight the virus and fill the gap in private spending with public dollars will mean less demand in the economy, starting a cascade of more lay-offs and business failures in the classic vicious cycle of recession.

From Quartz

The WNBA is set to begin its season on July 25, while the NBA — the league whose abrupt shutdown set off a cascade of matching shutdowns in other sports — will restart its own season on July 30 at Walt Disney World.

That joint statement led to a cascade of school district closures that eventually led nearly every school in the state to close.

I remember practicing that lick [from the solo “Round Midnight” recording] years ago, learning how to do that cascade effect.

With her cascade of red, twirling hair and pale, fine-boned face.

The cascade of same-sex marriage rulings is now a torrent, each more quotable and image-ready than the last.

Expect aurora borealis   in the long foray but no cascade of light.

Sander and Taylor say that this is exactly what mismatch theory would predict, because preferences cascade.

As the bright glow of a little cascade of sparks pierced the darkness, a voice in our rear called sharply: "Hands up!"

She was a slim, girlish-looking woman, with a cascade of long dark hair falling over her shoulders.

One must work or go, and when a cascade of gravel poured off the cars as the plow moved along he pulled himself together.

To accompany me to the cascade—there to invoke the Siren, and ask if she may be seen.

Accident, not design, had conducted him to the bottom of the cascade.


Related Words




cascabelcascade molecule