- See under fallout.
- 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. 2018
- 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
- informal to quarrel or disagree
- (intr) to happen or occur
- military to leave a parade or disciplinary formation
- 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 radioactive fallout
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper