fallback

[fawl-bak]
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noun
  1. an act or instance of falling back.
  2. something or someone to turn or return to, especially for help or as an alternative: His teaching experience would be a fallback if the business failed.
adjective
  1. Also fall-back. of or designating something kept in reserve or as an alternative: The negotiators agreed on a fallback position.

Origin of fallback

1750–60, Americanism; noun, adj. use of verb phrase fall back
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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Word Origin and History for fallback
n.

also fall-back; 1767 as a type of chair; 1930 as "a position to be used in an emergency;" from fall (v.) + back (adv.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper