AskDefine | Define fell

Dictionary Definition



1 the season when the leaves fall from the trees; "in the fall of 1973" [syn: autumn]
2 a sudden drop from an upright position; "he had a nasty spill on the ice" [syn: spill, tumble]
3 the lapse of mankind into sinfulness because of the sin of Adam and Eve; "women have been blamed ever since the Fall"
4 a downward slope or bend [syn: descent, declivity, decline, declination, declension, downslope] [ant: ascent]
5 a lapse into sin; a loss of innocence or of chastity; "a fall from virtue"
6 a sudden decline in strength or number or importance; "the fall of the House of Hapsburg" [syn: downfall] [ant: rise]
7 a movement downward; "the rise and fall of the tides" [ant: rise]
8 the act of surrendering (under agreed conditions); "they were protected until the capitulation of the fort" [syn: capitulation, surrender]
9 the time of day immediately following sunset; "he loved the twilight"; "they finished before the fall of night" [syn: twilight, dusk, gloaming, nightfall, evenfall, crepuscule, crepuscle]
10 when a wrestler's shoulders are forced to the mat [syn: pin]
11 a free and rapid descent by the force of gravity; "it was a miracle that he survived the drop from that height" [syn: drop]
12 a sudden sharp decrease in some quantity; "a drop of 57 points on the Dow Jones index"; "there was a drop in pressure in the pulmonary artery"; "a dip in prices"; "when that became known the price of their stock went into free fall" [syn: drop, dip, free fall]


1 descend in free fall under the influence of gravity; "The branch fell from the tree"; "The unfortunate hiker fell into a crevasse"
2 move downward and lower, but not necessarily all the way; "The temperature is going down"; "The barometer is falling"; "The curtain fell on the diva"; "Her hand went up and then fell again" [syn: descend, go down, come down] [ant: rise, ascend]
3 pass suddenly and passively into a state of body or mind; "fall into a trap"; "She fell ill"; "They fell out of favor"; "Fall in love"; "fall asleep"; "fall prey to an imposter"; "fall into a strange way of thinking"; "she fell to pieces after she lost her work"
4 come under, be classified or included; "fall into a category"; "This comes under a new heading" [syn: come]
5 fall from clouds; "rain, snow and sleet were falling"; "Vesuvius precipitated its fiery, destructive rage on Herculaneum" [syn: precipitate, come down]
6 suffer defeat, failure, or ruin; "We must stand or fall"; "fall by the wayside"
7 decrease in size, extent, or range; "The amount of homework decreased towards the end of the semester"; "The cabin pressure fell dramatically"; "her weight fall to under a hundred pounds"; "his voice fell to a whisper" [syn: decrease, diminish, lessen] [ant: increase]
8 die, as in battle or in a hunt; "Many soldiers fell at Verdun"; "Several deer have fallen to the same gun"; "The shooting victim fell dead"
9 touch or seem as if touching visually or audibly; "Light fell on her face"; "The sun shone on the fields"; "The light struck the golden necklace"; "A strange sound struck my ears" [syn: shine, strike]
10 be captured; "The cities fell to the enemy"
11 occur at a specified time or place; "Christmas falls on a Monday this year"; "The accent falls on the first syllable"
12 yield to temptation or sin; "Adam and Eve fell"
13 lose office or power; "The government fell overnight"; "The Qing Dynasty fell with Sun Yat-sen"
14 to be given by assignment or distribution; "The most difficult task fell on the youngest member of the team"; "The onus fell on us"; "The pressure to succeed fell on the yougest student"
15 move in a specified direction; "The line of men fall forward"
16 be due; "payments fall on the 1st of the month"
17 lose one's chastity; "a fallen woman"
18 to be given by right or inheritance; "The estate fell to the oldest daughter"
19 come into the possession of; "The house accrued to the oldest son" [syn: accrue]
20 fall to somebody by assignment or lot; "The task fell to me"; "It fell to me to notify the parents of the victims" [syn: light]
21 be inherited by; "The estate fell to my sister"; "The land returned to the family"; "The estate devolved to an heir that everybody had assumed to be dead" [syn: return, pass, devolve]
22 slope downward; "The hills around here fall towards the ocean"
23 lose an upright position suddenly; "The vase fell over and the water spilled onto the table"; "Her hair fell across her forehead" [syn: fall down]
24 drop oneself to a lower or less erect position; "She fell back in her chair"; "He fell to his knees"
25 fall or flow in a certain way; "This dress hangs well"; "Her long black hair flowed down her back" [syn: hang, flow]
26 assume a disappointed or sad expression; "Her face fell when she heard that she would be laid off"; "his crest fell"
27 be cast down; "his eyes fell"
28 come out; issue; "silly phrases fell from her mouth"
29 be born, used chiefly of lambs; "The lambs fell in the afternoon"
30 begin vigorously; "The prisoners fell to work right away"
31 go as if by falling; "Grief fell from our hearts"
32 come as if by falling; "Night fell"; "Silence fell" [syn: descend, settle] [also: fell, fallen]fell adj : (of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering; "a barbarous crime"; "brutal beatings"; "cruel tortures"; "Stalin's roughshod treatment of the kulaks"; "a savage slap"; "vicious kicks" [syn: barbarous, brutal, cruel, roughshod, savage, vicious]


1 the dressed skin of an animal (especially a large animal) [syn: hide]
2 seam made by turning under or folding together and stitching the seamed materials to avoid rough edges [syn: felled seam]
3 the act of felling something (as a tree)


1 cause to fall by or as if by delivering a blow; "strike down a tree"; "Lightning struck down the hikers" [syn: drop, strike down, cut down]
2 pass away rapidly; "Time flies like an arrow"; "Time fleeing beneath him" [syn: fly, vanish]
3 sew a seam by folding the edgesfell See fall

User Contributed Dictionary

see Fell



  • /fɛl/, /fEl/
  • Rhymes: -ɛl

Etymology 1

Old English fellan


  1. To make something fall; especially to chop down a tree.
to make sthg fall


  1. simple past of fall

Etymology 2

Old English fell


  1. That portion of a kilt, from the waist to the seat, where the pleats are stitched down
  2. An animal skin, hide
portion of a kilt
animal hide

Etymology 3

Via Middle English from Old Norse fell


  1. A rocky ridge or chain of mountains. (archaic or British English)
  2. A wild field or upland moor (archaic or British English)
rocky ridge
wild field or upland moor

Etymology 4

Via Middle English, ultimately from popular Latin fello


  1. fierce, savage (e.g., one fell swoop)
  2. (Scot) Pungent.



Old Norse



Old English


Common Germanic *fellam, whence also Old High Germanic vel


fell n

Extensive Definition

Fell (from the Old Norse fjall, 'mountain') is a word used to refer to mountains, or certain types of mountainous landscape, in parts of England and Scandinavia.


In Northern England, especially in the Lake District and in the Pennine Dales, the word "fell" originally referred to an area of uncultivated high ground used as common grazing. This meaning is found in the names of various breeds of livestock bred for life on the uplands, such as Rough Fell sheep and fell ponies. It is also found in many place names across the North of England, often attached to the name of a community; thus Seathwaite Fell, for example, would be the common grazing land used by the farmers of Seathwaite.
Today, "fell" can refer to any one of the mountains and hills of the Lake District and the Pennine Dales. This meaning tends to overlap with the previous one, especially where place names are concerned: in particular, names that originally referred to grazing areas tend to be applied to hilltops, as is the case with the aforementioned Seathwaite Fell. In other cases the reverse is true: for instance, the name of Wetherlam, in the Coniston Fells, though understood to refer to the mountain as a whole, strictly speaking refers to the summit; the slopes have names such as Tilberthwaite High Fell, Low Fell and Above Beck Fells.
Groups of cairns are a common feature on many fells, often marking the summit - there are fine examples on Wild Boar Fell in Mallerstang Dale, Cumbria, and on 'Nine Standards Rigg' just outside Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria.
As the most mountainous region of England, the Lake District is the area most closely associated with the sport of fell running, which takes its name from the fells of the district. "Fellwalking" is also the term used locally for the activity known in the rest of Great Britain as hillwalking.

Scandinavia and Finland

In Scandinavia, a fell (fjeld in Danish, fjell in Norwegian, fjäll in Swedish, duottar in Northern Sámi, tundar in Akkala Sámi, tunturi in Finnish; "duottar" and "tunturi" are from the same Sami origin as the English word tundra, and come from the proto-word form *tōnter) is a treeless mountain landscape that has been shaped by glacier ice earlier in history. In the Finnish language, a fell (tunturi) is distinguished from a mountain (vuori) in that true mountains have permanent glaciers. Erosion has also given fells a gentler shape, whereas the younger mountains have a rugged shape.
Famous fells in Finland are Halti, Saana, Ylläs, Aakenustunturi and Korvatunturi, the legendary homeplace of Joulupukki, the Finnish Santa Claus.

See also


fell in Danish: Fjeld
fell in German: Fjell
fell in French: Tunturi
fell in Finnish: Tunturi
fell in Swedish: Fjäll

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Draconian, Leatherette, Leatheroid, Tartarean, align, alkali flat, alluvial plain, animal, anthill, anthropophagous, appalling, astounding, atrocious, awe-inspiring, awesome, awful, baleful, barbaric, barbarous, barrow, basin, beastly, beat down, bend, bestial, bloodthirsty, bloody, bloody-minded, blow down, blow over, blow to pieces, blow up, bottomland, bowl down, bowl over, brae, brain, break, break down, bring down, brutal, brutalized, brute, brutish, bulldog, bulldoze, burn down, burn to death, bushveld, butte, campo, cannibalistic, cast down, champaign, champaign country, charge, chop down, coastal plain, coat, cock, conquer, cruel, cruel-hearted, crush, cut down, cut to pieces, cuticle, dangerous, dash down, deal a deathblow, deck, delta, demolish, demoniac, demoniacal, dermis, desert, detonate, devilish, diabolic, dire, direful, discharge, disintegrate, down, downs, dread, dreaded, dreadful, drop, drumlin, dune, eject, equalize, even, fearful, feral, ferocious, fetch down, fiendish, fiendlike, fierce, fire, fire off, flat, flat country, flatland, flats, flatten, fleece, flesh, floor, flush, foothills, formidable, frag, fur, furring, ghastly, ghoulish, give the quietus, grade, grass veld, grassland, grievous, grim, grisly, ground, gruesome, gun, gun down, gun for, heath, hellish, hew down, hide, hideous, hill, hillock, hit, horrendous, horrible, horrid, horrific, horrifying, humble, hummock, imitation fur, imitation leather, implacable, incinerate, infernal, inhuman, inhumane, integument, jacket, jugulate, kill, knob, knock down, knock over, knoll, lande, lapidate, lay, lay down, lay flat, lay level, lay low, lay out, leather, leather paper, let fly, let off, level, llano, load, lowland, lowlands, lunar mare, macabre, major, malefic, maleficent, malign, mare, master, mesa, mesilla, molehill, monticle, monticule, moor, moorland, morbid, mound, mow down, murderous, open country, outer layer, outer skin, override, pampa, pampas, pelt, peltry, peneplain, pepper, pick off, pistol, plain, plains, plateau, playa, plug, poleax, pot, potshoot, potshot, prairie, precipitate, prime, prostrate, pull down, put down, quell, rase, rawhide, raze, redoubtable, reduce, relentless, riddle, ride down, rind, roll, roll flat, ruthless, sadistic, salt flat, salt marsh, salt pan, sand dune, sanguinary, sanguineous, satanic, savage, savanna, schrecklich, sebkha, send headlong, serious, sharkish, sheath, shocking, shoot, shoot at, shoot down, shoot to death, shotgun, silence, sinister, skin, skins, slash, slavering, smash, smooth, smooth out, smoothen, snipe, spread-eagle, stab to death, steamroll, steamroller, steppe, stone, stone to death, strike, strike dead, subdue, subhuman, subjugate, supinate, suppress, swell, table, tableland, take a potshot, take down, tear down, tegument, terrible, terrific, throw, throw down, topple, torpedo, trample down, trample underfoot, tread underfoot, tree veld, tremendous, trip, truculent, tumble, tundra, ugly, unchristian, uncivilized, unhuman, unrelenting, upland, vair, vanquish, vaporize, vega, veld, vicious, weald, whack down, wide-open spaces, wold, wolfish
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