downfall [doun-fawl] ExamplesWord Origin noun

  1. descent to a lower position or standing; overthrow; ruin.
  2. something causing ruin, failure, etc.: Liquor was his downfall.
  3. a fall, as of rain, snow, or the like, often sudden or heavy.
  4. a trap using a falling weight for killing, injuring, or imprisoning the prey.

Origin of downfall Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at down1, fall Related formsdown·fall·en, adjective Examples from the Web for downfallen Historical Examples of downfallen

  • Very likely he is staring at a downfallen horse and has forgotten this affair.

    Baboo Jabberjee, B.A.

    F. Anstey

  • At prayers morning and evening, it was pitiful to observe her glance of entreaty and her downfallen eyelashes.

    The Adventures of Harry Richmond, Complete

    George Meredith

  • A strange look of wonder illuminated the face of the downfallen man.

    The Gnomes of the Saline Mountains

    Anna Goldmark Gross

  • But the poor gentleman—the downfallen man of rank—the degraded man of birth—the disabled and disarmed man of power!

    St. Ronan’s Well

    Sir Walter Scott

  • All of his life that is known to us was passed in the company of publicans, of the downfallen, and of Pharisees.

    My Religion

    Leo Tolstoy

  • British Dictionary definitions for downfallen downfallen adjective

    1. (of a building, etc) decrepit
    2. mainly US (of a person) ruined; fallen

    downfall noun

    1. a sudden loss of position, health, or reputation
    2. a fall of rain, snow, etc, esp a sudden heavy one
    3. another word for deadfall

    Word Origin and History for downfallen downfall n.

    “ruin, fall from high condition,” c.1300, from down (adv.) + fall (v.).

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