Dictionary.com

fell

1
[ fel ]
/ fɛl /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: fell / felled / feller / fellest on Thesaurus.com

verb
simple past tense of fall.
QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Other definitions for fell (2 of 5)

fell2
[ 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
First recorded before 900; Middle English fellen, fillen, fullen, Old English fellan, fyllan “to cut, cut down, destroy, shed (tears),” causative of feallan “to fall, fall down”; cognate with Gothic falljan, Old Frisian falla, fella, Old High German fellen, German fällen “to make fall”; see origin at fall

Other definitions for fell (3 of 5)

fell3
[ fel ]
/ fɛl /

adjective
destructive; deadly: fell poison;fell disease.

Origin of fell

3
First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English fel “treacherous, deceitful, false,” from Old French, nominative of felon “wicked”; see origin at felon1

OTHER WORDS FROM fell

fell·ness, noun

Other definitions for fell (4 of 5)

fell4
[ fel ]
/ fɛl /

noun Chiefly Literary.
the skin or hide of an animal; pelt.

Origin of fell

4
First recorded before 900; Middle English, Old English fel(l); cognate with Dutch vel, German Fell, Old Norse -fjall (as in berfjall “bearskin”), Gothic -fill (in thrutsfill “leprosy,” literally “scab skin”); akin to Latin pellis “skin, hide,” Greek péltē “small, light, leather-covered shield”

Other definitions for fell (5 of 5)

fell5
[ fel ]
/ fɛl /

noun Scot. and North England.
an upland pasture, moor, or thicket; a highland plateau.

Origin of fell

5
First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English fel “hill, mountain; upland or pasture; a moor or down”; from Old Norse fjall, -fell, “hill, mountain,” akin to German Fels “rock, cliff”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use fell in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fell (1 of 5)

fell1
/ (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 of fell

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 5)

fell2
/ (fɛl) /

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

Derived forms of fell

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 5)

fell3
/ (fɛl) /

verb
the past tense of fall

British Dictionary definitions for fell (4 of 5)

fell4
/ (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 5)

fell5
/ (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
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with fell

fell

see one fell swoop.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
FEEDBACK