fell

1
[ fel ]
/ fɛl /

verb

simple past tense of fall.

Definition for fell (2 of 6)

fell

2
[ fel ]
/ fɛl /

verb (used with object)

to knock, strike, shoot, or cut down; cause to fall: to fell a moose; to fell a tree.
Sewing. to finish (a seam) by sewing the edge down flat.

noun

Lumbering. the amount of timber cut down in one season.
Sewing. a seam finished by felling.

Origin of fell

2
before 900; Middle English fellen, Old English fellan, causative of feallan to fall; cognate with Gothic falljan to cause to fall

Definition for fell (3 of 6)

fell

3
[ fel ]
/ fɛl /

adjective

fierce; cruel; dreadful; savage.
destructive; deadly: fell poison; fell disease.

Origin of fell

3
1250–1300; Middle English fel < Old French, nominative of felon wicked. See felon1

Related forms

fell·ness, noun

Definition for fell (4 of 6)

fell

4
[ fel ]
/ fɛl /

noun

the skin or hide of an animal; pelt.

Origin of fell

4
before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Dutch vel, German Fell, Old Norse -fjall (in berfjall bear-skin), Gothic -fill (in thrutsfill scab-skin, leprosy); akin to Latin pellis skin, hide

Definition for fell (5 of 6)

fell

5
[ fel ]
/ fɛl /

noun Scot. and North England.

an upland pasture, moor, or thicket; a highland plateau.

Origin of fell

5
1300–50; Middle English < Old Norse fell, fjall hill, mountain, akin to German Felsen rock, cliff

Definition for fell (6 of 6)

Origin of fall

before 900; Middle English fallen, Old English feallan; cognate with German fallen, Old Norse falla; akin to Lithuanian pùlti to fall

Related forms

un·fall·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fell

British Dictionary definitions for fell (1 of 7)

fell

1
/ (fɛl) /

verb (tr)

to cut or knock downto fell a tree; to fell an opponent
needlework to fold under and sew flat (the edges of a seam)

noun

US and Canadian the timber felled in one season
a seam finished by felling

Derived Forms

fellable, adjective

Word Origin for fell

Old English fellan; related to Old Norse fella, Old High German fellen; see fall

British Dictionary definitions for fell (2 of 7)

fell

2
/ (fɛl) /

adjective

archaic cruel or fierce; terrible
archaic destructive or deadlya fell disease
one fell swoop a single hasty action or occurrence

Derived Forms

fellness, noun

Word Origin for fell

C13 fel, from Old French: cruel, from Medieval Latin fellō villain; see felon 1

British Dictionary definitions for fell (3 of 7)

fell

3
/ (fɛl) /

verb

the past tense of fall

British Dictionary definitions for fell (4 of 7)

fell

4
/ (fɛl) /

noun

an animal skin or hide

Word Origin for fell

Old English; related to Old High German fel skin, Old Norse berfjall bearskin, Latin pellis skin; see peel 1

British Dictionary definitions for fell (5 of 7)

fell

5
/ (fɛl) /

noun

(often plural) Northern English and Scot
  1. a mountain, hill, or tract of upland moor
  2. (in combination)fell-walking

Word Origin for fell

C13: from Old Norse fjall; related to Old High German felis rock

British Dictionary definitions for fell (6 of 7)

Fall

/ (fɔːl) /

noun

the Fall theol Adam's sin of disobedience and the state of innate sinfulness ensuing from this for himself and all mankindSee also original sin

British Dictionary definitions for fell (7 of 7)

fall

/ (fɔːl) /

verb falls, falling, fell (fɛl) or fallen (ˈfɔːlən) (mainly intr)

noun

Word Origin for fall

Old English feallan; related to Old Norse falla, Old Saxon, Old High German fallan to fall; see fell ²
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

Idioms and Phrases with fell (1 of 2)

fell


see one fell swoop.

Idioms and Phrases with fell (2 of 2)

fall


In addition to the idioms beginning with fall

  • fall all over oneself
  • fall apart
  • fall asleep
  • fall away
  • fall back
  • fall back on
  • fall behind
  • fall between the cracks
  • fall by the wayside
  • fall down
  • fall flat
  • fall for
  • fall from grace
  • fall guy
  • fall in
  • falling down drunk
  • fall in line
  • fall in love
  • fall in place
  • fall into
  • fall in with
  • fall off
  • fall off the wagon
  • fall on
  • fall on deaf ears
  • fall on one's face
  • fall on one's feet
  • fall out
  • fall over
  • fall short of
  • fall through
  • fall through the cracks
  • fall to
  • fall under

also see:

  • bottom drops (falls) out
  • break one's fall
  • easy as pie (falling off a log)
  • let drop (fall)
  • let the chips fall where they may
  • ride for a fall
  • take the fall
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.