or fall-out



the settling to the ground of airborne particles ejected into the atmosphere from the earth by explosions, eruptions, forest fires, etc., especially such settling from nuclear explosions (radioactive fallout).Compare rainout.
the particles themselves.Compare rainout.
an unexpected or incidental effect, outcome, or product: the psychological fallout of being obese.
effects; results: emotional fallout from a divorce.

Origin of fallout

First recorded in 1945–50; noun use of verb phrase fall out
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fallout

Contemporary Examples of fallout

Historical Examples of fallout

  • People dying of disease and worried about dying from radiation and fallout.

    This Crowded Earth

    Robert Bloch

  • After Test Mike, the implications of fallout obviously were global.

  • And the fallout from so many atom bombs simply could not be risked.

    Operation Terror

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • In some places, a boat would provide some fallout protection.

    In Time Of Emergency

    Department of Defense

  • Remember that fallout particles can be seen, but the rays they give off cannot be seen.

    In Time Of Emergency

    Department of Defense

British Dictionary definitions for fallout



the descent of solid material in the atmosphere onto the earth, esp of radioactive material following a nuclear explosion
any solid particles that so descend
informal side-effects; secondary consequences

verb fall out (intr, adverb)

informal to quarrel or disagree
(intr) to happen or occur
military to leave a parade or disciplinary formation

sentence substitute

military the order to leave a parade or disciplinary formation
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 fallout

"radioactive particles," 1950, from fall (v.) + out (adv.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper