[waw-ter-fawl, wot-er-]


a steep fall or flow of water in a watercourse from a height, as over a precipice; cascade.
a manner of arranging women's hair, as in long, loose waves.

Origin of waterfall

before 1000; Middle English; Old English wætergefeall. See water, fall
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for waterfall

shoot, chute, rapids, fall, cataract, weir

Examples from the Web for waterfall

Contemporary Examples of waterfall

Historical Examples of waterfall

  • What could make the river run at this pace—a weir—or a waterfall?

  • If the waterfall sketches were not exaggerations, he would like to see the originals.

  • She'll keep that appointment for me at eight o'clock to-night by the waterfall.

  • You had to dash through a waterfall to get into your damp bed.

  • One afternoon we walked sixteen miles through a rain which was like a waterfall.


    Charles Godfrey Leland

British Dictionary definitions for waterfall



a cascade of falling water where there is a vertical or almost vertical step in a river
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 waterfall

Old English wætergefeal; see water (n.1) + fall. Cf. German wasserfall, Old Norse vatnfall.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

waterfall in Medicine




Blood flow in vascular beds where lateral pressure greatly exceeds venous pressure and tends to collapse vessels.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.