[ doun-fawl ]
/ ˈdaʊnˌfɔl /


descent to a lower position or standing; overthrow; ruin.
something causing ruin, failure, etc.: Liquor was his downfall.
a fall, as of rain, snow, or the like, often sudden or heavy.
a trap using a falling weight for killing, injuring, or imprisoning the prey.

Origin of downfall

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at down1, fall

Related forms

down·fall·en, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for downfallen

British Dictionary definitions for downfallen (1 of 2)


/ (ˈdaʊnˌfɔːlən) /


(of a building, etc) decrepit
mainly US (of a person) ruined; fallen

British Dictionary definitions for downfallen (2 of 2)


/ (ˈdaʊnˌfɔːl) /


a sudden loss of position, health, or reputation
a fall of rain, snow, etc, esp a sudden heavy one
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