Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

cascade

[kas-keyd]
See more synonyms for cascade on Thesaurus.com
noun
  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.
Show More
verb (used without object), cas·cad·ed, cas·cad·ing.
  1. to fall in or like a cascade.
Show More
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.
Show More

Origin of cascade

1635–45; < French < Italian cascata, equivalent to casc(are) to fall (< Vulgar Latin *cāsicāre, equivalent to cās(us) fallen (past participle of cadere) + -icā- formative v. suffix + -re infinitive ending) + -ata -ade1
Related formscas·cad·er, nounun·cas·cad·ed, adjectiveun·cas·cad·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cascade

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Cassy, the cascade of flowers and stars about her, looked at the harper.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • She was humming a strange tune over the cascade like another Minnehaha.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • The cascade at the bottom of the slope appeared a mere span in height from where they were now.

  • Here is found the cascade of Idurewadde; and higher up, the cataract of Itabru.

    The Western World

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • The fifth, as brilliant as a cascade on which the sun is shining, is "Joy."

    The Pianolist

    Gustav Kobb


British Dictionary definitions for cascade

cascade

noun
  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
Show More
verb
  1. (intr) to flow or fall in or like a cascade
Show More

Word Origin

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

n.

1640s, from French cascade (17c.), from Italian cascata "waterfall," from cascare "to fall," from Vulgar Latin *casicare, frequentative of Latin casum, casus, past participle of cadere "to fall" (see case (n.1)).

Show More

v.

1702, from cascade (n.). In early 19c. slang, "to vomit." Related: Cascaded; cascading.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cascade in Medicine

cascade

(kă-skād)
n.
  1. A succession of actions, processes, or operations, as of a physiological process.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

cascade in Science

cascade

[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.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.