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See more synonyms for pratfall on Thesaurus.com
  1. a fall in which one lands on the buttocks, often regarded as comical or humiliating.
  2. a humiliating blunder or defeat.
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Origin of pratfall

First recorded in 1935–40; prat + fall
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples

British Dictionary definitions for pratfall


  1. US and Canadian slang a fall upon one's buttocks
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Word Origin

C20: from C16 prat buttocks (of unknown origin) + fall
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 pratfall


1939, from prat "buttock" + fall (n.). "Chiefly N. Amer. slang" [OED]. As a verb from 1940.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper