a trap, especially for large game, in which a weight falls on and crushes the prey.
a mass of brush and fallen trees.

Origin of deadfall

First recorded in 1605–15; dead + fall Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deadfall

Historical Examples of deadfall

  • And I hope you get caught in some kind of deadfall and have to come screaming to the cops.

    Out Like a Light

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • Five days after we struck camp we caught a black bear in a deadfall.

    Black Beaver

    James Campbell Lewis

  • Why didn't you have a deadfall for the foxes as you had for the bears?

    Beautiful Joe

    Marshall Saunders

  • But neither the steel-trap nor the deadfall is wholly satisfactory.

  • A deadfall will act just as effectively; but there is one point requiring care.

British Dictionary definitions for deadfall



a type of trap, used esp for catching large animals, in which a heavy weight falls to crush the preyAlso called: downfall
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