[ doun-fawl ]
See synonyms for downfall on
  1. descent to a lower position or standing; overthrow; ruin.

  2. something causing ruin, failure, etc.: Liquor was his downfall.

  1. a fall, as of rain, snow, or the like, often sudden or heavy.

  2. a trap using a falling weight for killing, injuring, or imprisoning the prey.

Origin of downfall

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English; down1 + fall

Other words from downfall

  • downfallen, adjective

Words Nearby downfall Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use downfall in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for downfall


/ (ˈdaʊnˌfɔːl) /

  1. a sudden loss of position, health, or reputation

  2. a fall of rain, snow, etc, esp a sudden heavy one

  1. another word for deadfall

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