[ rok-fawl ]


  1. an act or instance of the falling of rock, as in a cave-in or an avalanche.
  2. a mass of rocks rock that have fallen: fall:

    to be trapped under a rockfall.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of rockfall1

First recorded in 1920–25; rock 1 + fall

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Example Sentences

My accident could be viewed as bad luck, had I been in the path of random rockfall.

Over the last two years, the department has been forced to close that stretch of road multiple times due to heavy rains, rockfall and mudslides, including an incident in August 2019 that left 300 people and 17 buses stranded for hours.

From Time

About halfway along the road lies the Pretty Rocks Landslide, a slowly sliding section of earth that acts more like a glacier than a rockfall.

From Time

Four years ago, on May 10, 2017, I heard the distinct gunshot crack of rockfall while ski-mountaineering on Mount Hood, in Oregon.

That August, 15 months after the rockfall accident, in a state of desperation, I found a therapist.

On April 25, 2006, the tremor triggered a rockfall inside a gold mine, and three of the 17 miners were unable to escape.

Indeed, he had helped to clear the rockfall which crushed the life out of the unfortunate miner.

They followed the yellow beam of Scotty's flashlight through the dark tunnel to the rockfall.

Then they spent the remaining time clearing more rocks from the original rockfall that had sealed them in.

He set about skirting the rockfall, still searching the ground for traces of beetle wheels.


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rock-facedRock Falls