The DICT Development Group
1 definition found
for To fall back upon
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :
Fall \Fall\ (f[add]l), v. i. [imp. Fell (f[e^]l); p. p.
Fallen (f[add]l"'n); p. pr. & vb. n. Falling.] [AS.
feallan; akin to D. vallen, OS. & OHG. fallan, G. fallen,
Icel. Falla, Sw. falla, Dan. falde, Lith. pulti, L. fallere
to deceive, Gr. sfa`llein to cause to fall, Skr. sphal,
sphul, to tremble. Cf. Fail, Fell, v. t., to cause to
1. To Descend, either suddenly or gradually; particularly, to
descend by the force of gravity; to drop; to sink; as, the
apple falls; the tide falls; the mercury falls in the
I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. --Luke
2. To cease to be erect; to take suddenly a recumbent
posture; to become prostrate; to drop; as, a child totters
and falls; a tree falls; a worshiper falls on his knees.
I fell at his feet to worship him. --Rev. xix.
3. To find a final outlet; to discharge its waters; to empty;
-- with into; as, the river Rhone falls into the
4. To become prostrate and dead; to die; especially, to die
by violence, as in battle.
A thousand shall fall at thy side. --Ps. xci. 7.
He rushed into the field, and, foremost fighting,
5. To cease to be active or strong; to die away; to lose
strength; to subside; to become less intense; as, the wind
6. To issue forth into life; to be brought forth; -- said of
the young of certain animals. --Shak.
7. To decline in power, glory, wealth, or importance; to
become insignificant; to lose rank or position; to decline
in weight, value, price etc.; to become less; as, the
price falls; stocks fell two points.
I am a poor fallen man, unworthy now
To be thy lord and master. --Shak.
The greatness of these Irish lords suddenly fell and
vanished. --Sir J.
8. To be overthrown or captured; to be destroyed.
Heaven and earth will witness,
If Rome must fall, that we are innocent. --Addison.
9. To descend in character or reputation; to become degraded;
to sink into vice, error, or sin; to depart from the
faith; to apostatize; to sin.
Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest
any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
--Heb. iv. 11.
10. To become insnared or embarrassed; to be entrapped; to be
worse off than before; as, to fall into error; to fall
11. To assume a look of shame or disappointment; to become or
appear dejected; -- said of the countenance.
Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
--Gen. iv. 5.
I have observed of late thy looks are fallen.
12. To sink; to languish; to become feeble or faint; as, our
spirits rise and fall with our fortunes.
13. To pass somewhat suddenly, and passively, into a new
state of body or mind; to become; as, to fall asleep; to
fall into a passion; to fall in love; to fall into
14. To happen; to to come to pass; to light; to befall; to
issue; to terminate.
The Romans fell on this model by chance. --Swift.
Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the
matter will fall. --Ruth. iii.
They do not make laws, they fall into customs. --H.
15. To come; to occur; to arrive.
The vernal equinox, which at the Nicene Council
fell on the 21st of March, falls now  about
ten days sooner. --Holder.
16. To begin with haste, ardor, or vehemence; to rush or
hurry; as, they fell to blows.
They now no longer doubted, but fell to work heart
and soul. --Jowett
17. To pass or be transferred by chance, lot, distribution,
inheritance, or otherwise; as, the estate fell to his
brother; the kingdom fell into the hands of his rivals.
18. To belong or appertain.
If to her share some female errors fall,
Look on her face, and you'll forget them all.
19. To be dropped or uttered carelessly; as, an unguarded
expression fell from his lips; not a murmur fell from
To fall abroad of (Naut.), to strike against; -- applied to
one vessel coming into collision with another.
To fall among, to come among accidentally or unexpectedly.
To fall astern (Naut.), to move or be driven backward; to
be left behind; as, a ship falls astern by the force of a
current, or when outsailed by another.
To fall away.
(a) To lose flesh; to become lean or emaciated; to pine.
(b) To renounce or desert allegiance; to revolt or rebel.
(c) To renounce or desert the faith; to apostatize.
"These . . . for a while believe, and in time of
temptation fall away." --Luke viii. 13.
(d) To perish; to vanish; to be lost. "How . . . can the
soul . . . fall away into nothing?" --Addison.
(e) To decline gradually; to fade; to languish, or become
faint. "One color falls away by just degrees, and
another rises insensibly." --Addison.
To fall back.
(a) To recede or retreat; to give way.
(b) To fail of performing a promise or purpose; not to
To fall back upon or To fall back on.
(a) (Mil.) To retreat for safety to (a stronger position
in the rear, as to a fort or a supporting body of
(b) To have recourse to (a reserved fund, a more reliable
alternative, or some other available expedient or
To fall calm, to cease to blow; to become calm.
To fall down.
(a) To prostrate one's self in worship. "All kings shall
fall down before him." --Ps. lxxii. 11.
(b) To sink; to come to the ground. "Down fell the
beauteous youth." --Dryden.
(c) To bend or bow, as a suppliant.
(d) (Naut.) To sail or drift toward the mouth of a river
or other outlet.
To fall flat, to produce no response or result; to fail of
the intended effect; as, his speech fell flat.
To fall foul of.
(a) (Naut.) To have a collision with; to become entangled
(b) To attack; to make an assault upon.
To fall from, to recede or depart from; not to adhere to;
as, to fall from an agreement or engagement; to fall from
allegiance or duty.
To fall from grace (M. E. Ch.), to sin; to withdraw from
To fall home (Ship Carp.), to curve inward; -- said of the
timbers or upper parts of a ship's side which are much
within a perpendicular.
To fall in.
(a) To sink inwards; as, the roof fell in.
(b) (Mil.) To take one's proper or assigned place in
line; as, to fall in on the right.
(c) To come to an end; to terminate; to lapse; as, on the
death of Mr. B., the annuuity, which he had so long
received, fell in.
(d) To become operative. "The reversion, to which he had
been nominated twenty years before, fell in."
To fall into one's hands, to pass, often suddenly or
unexpectedly, into one's ownership or control; as, to
spike cannon when they are likely to fall into the hands
of the enemy.
To fall in with.
(a) To meet with accidentally; as, to fall in with a
(b) (Naut.) To meet, as a ship; also, to discover or come
near, as land.
(c) To concur with; to agree with; as, the measure falls
in with popular opinion.
(d) To comply; to yield to. "You will find it difficult
to persuade learned men to fall in with your
To fall off.
(a) To drop; as, fruits fall off when ripe.
(b) To withdraw; to separate; to become detached; as,
friends fall off in adversity. "Love cools,
friendship falls off, brothers divide." --Shak.
(c) To perish; to die away; as, words fall off by disuse.
(d) To apostatize; to forsake; to withdraw from the
faith, or from allegiance or duty.
Those captive tribes . . . fell off
From God to worship calves. --Milton.
(e) To forsake; to abandon; as, his customers fell off.
(f) To depreciate; to change for the worse; to
deteriorate; to become less valuable, abundant, or
interesting; as, a falling off in the wheat crop; the
magazine or the review falls off. "O Hamlet, what a
falling off was there!" --Shak.
(g) (Naut.) To deviate or trend to the leeward of the
point to which the head of the ship was before
directed; to fall to leeward.
To fall on.
(a) To meet with; to light upon; as, we have fallen on
(b) To begin suddenly and eagerly. "Fall on, and try the
appetite to eat." --Dryden.
(c) To begin an attack; to assault; to assail. "Fall on,
fall on, and hear him not." --Dryden.
(d) To drop on; to descend on.
To fall out.
(a) To quarrel; to begin to contend.
A soul exasperated in ills falls out
With everything, its friend, itself. --Addison.
(b) To happen; to befall; to chance. "There fell out a
bloody quarrel betwixt the frogs and the mice."
(c) (Mil.) To leave the ranks, as a soldier.
To fall over.
(a) To revolt; to desert from one side to another.
(b) To fall beyond. --Shak.
To fall short, to be deficient; as, the corn falls short;
they all fall short in duty.
To fall through, to come to nothing; to fail; as, the
engageent has fallen through.
To fall to, to begin. "Fall to, with eager joy, on homely
To fall under.
(a) To come under, or within the limits of; to be
subjected to; as, they fell under the jurisdiction of
(b) To come under; to become the subject of; as, this
point did not fall under the cognizance or
deliberations of the court; these things do not fall
under human sight or observation.
(c) To come within; to be ranged or reckoned with; to be
subordinate to in the way of classification; as,
these substances fall under a different class or
To fall upon.
(a) To attack. [See To fall on.]
(b) To attempt; to have recourse to. "I do not intend to
fall upon nice disquisitions." --Holder.
(c) To rush against.
Note: Fall primarily denotes descending motion, either in a
perpendicular or inclined direction, and, in most of
its applications, implies, literally or figuratively,
velocity, haste, suddenness, or violence. Its use is so
various, and so mush diversified by modifying words,
that it is not easy to enumerate its senses in all its
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