fell

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English fellen, from Old English fellan, fiellan (to cause to fall, strike down, fell, cut down, throw down, defeat, destroy, kill, tumble, cause to stumble), from Proto-Germanic *fallijaną (to fell, to cause to fall), causative of Proto-Germanic *fallaną (to fall), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)pōl- (to fall). Cognate with Dutch vellen (to fell, cut down), German fällen (to fell), Norwegian felle (to fell).

Verb[edit]

fell (third-person singular simple present fells, present participle felling, simple past and past participle felled)

  1. (transitive) To make something fall; especially to chop down a tree.
    • Shakespeare
      Stand, or I'll fell thee down.
    • 2011 October 2, Aled Williams, “Swansea 2 - 0 Stoke”, BBC Sport Wales:
      Sinclair opened Swansea's account from the spot on 8 minutes after a Ryan Shawcross tackle had felled Wayne Routledge.
  2. To strike down, kill, destroy.
    • 1922, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Chessmen of Mars[1], edition HTML, The Gutenberg Project, published 2010:
      Gahan, horrified, saw the latter's head topple from its body, saw the body stagger and fall to the ground. ... The creature that had felled its companion was dashing madly in the direction of the hill upon which he was hidden, it dodged one of the workers that sought to seize it. … Then it was that Gahan's eyes chanced to return to the figure of the creature the fugitive had felled.
    • 2010 September 27, Christina Passariello, “Prodos Capital, Samsung Make Final Cut for Ferré”, Wall Street Journal, accessed on 2012-08-26:
      … could make Ferré the first major fashion label felled by the economic crisis to come out the other end of restructuring.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

fell

  1. simple past tense of fall

Etymology 2[edit]

Middle English fell (hide, skin, fell), from Old English fell (hide, skin, pelt), from Proto-Germanic *fellą (compare West Frisian fel, Dutch, vel, German Fell), from Proto-Indo-European *pélno 'skin, animal hide' (compare Latin pellis 'skin', Lithuanian plėnė 'skin', Russian plená 'pelt', Albanian plah 'to cover', Ancient Greek péllas 'skin').

The fell, or stitched down portion of a kilt

Noun[edit]

fell (plural fells)

  1. That portion of a kilt, from the waist to the seat, where the pleats are stitched down.
  2. An animal skin, hide.
    • Shakespeare:
      We are still handling our ewes, and their fells, you know, are greasy.
  3. (textiles) The end of a web, formed by the last thread of the weft.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

fell (third-person singular simple present fells, present participle felling, simple past and past participle felled)

  1. (sewing) To stitch down a protruding flap of fabric, as a seam allowance, or pleat.
    • 2006, Colette Wolff, The Art of Manipulating Fabric, page 296:
      To fell seam allowances, catch the lining underneath before emerging 1/4" (6mm) ahead, and 1/8" (3mm) to 1/4" (6mm) into the seam allowance.
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Etymology 3[edit]

From Old Norse fell, fjall (rock, mountain), from Proto-Germanic *felzą, *fel(e)zaz, *falisaz (compare German Felsen 'boulder, cliff', Middle Low German vels 'hill, mountain'), from Proto-Indo-European *pelso; compare Irish aile (boulder, cliff), Latin Palatium, Ancient Greek [script?] (palléa, pélla, stone), Pashto پرښه (parša, rock, rocky ledge), Sanskrit पाषाण (pāşāņá, stone). Compare Pella.

Noun[edit]

fell (plural fells)

  1. (archaic outside the UK) A rocky ridge or chain of mountains.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of T. Gray to this entry?)
    • 1937 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
      The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
      While hammers fell like ringing bells,
      In places deep, where dark things sleep,
      In hollow halls beneath the fells.
    • 1886, Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr, The Squire of Sandal-Side : A Pastoral Romance[2]:
      Every now and then the sea calls some farmer or shepherd, and the restless drop in his veins gives him no peace till he has found his way over the hills and fells to the port of Whitehaven, and gone back to the cradling bosom that rocked his ancestors.
    • 1971 Catherine Cookson, The Dwelling Place
      She didn't know at first why she stepped off the road and climbed the bank on to the fells; it wasn't until she found herself skirting a disused quarry that she realised where she was making for, and when she reached the place she stood and gazed at it. It was a hollow within an outcrop of rock, not large enough to call a cave but deep enough to shelter eight people from the rain, and with room to spare.
  2. (archaic outside the UK) A wild field or upland moor.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

From Middle English fel, fell (strong, fierce, terrible, cruel, angry), from Old English *fel, *felo, *fæle (cruel, savage, fierce) (only in compounds, wælfel (bloodthirsty), ealfelo (evil, baleful), ælfæle (very dire), etc.), from Proto-Germanic *faluz (wicked, cruel, terrifying), from Proto-Indo-European *pol- (to pour, flow, swim, fly). Cognate with Old Frisian fal (cruel), Old Dutch fel (wrathful, cruel, bad, base), Danish fæl (disgusting, hideous, ghastly, grim), Middle High German vālant (imp). See felon.

Adjective[edit]

fell (comparative feller, superlative fellest)

  1. Of a strong and cruel nature; eagre and unsparing; grim; fierce; ruthless; savage.
    one fell swoop
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      while we devise fell tortures for thy faults
    • 1663, Hudibras, by Samuel Butler, part 1, canto 2
      And many a serpent of fell kind, / With wings before, and stings behind
    • 1892, James Yoxall, chapter 5, The Lonely Pyramid:
      The desert storm was riding in its strength; the travellers lay beneath the mastery of the fell simoom. Whirling wreaths and columns of burning wind, rushed around and over them.
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter XIX:
      No words had been exchanged between Upjohn and self on the journey out, but the glimpses I had caught of his face from the corner of the eyes had told me that he was grim and resolute, his supply of the milk of human kindness plainly short by several gallons. No hope, it seemed to me, of turning him from his fell purpose.
  2. (UK dialectal, Scotland) Strong and fiery; biting; keen; sharp; pungent; clever.
  3. (obsolete) Eager; earnest; intent.

Adverb[edit]

fell (comparative more fell, superlative most fell)

  1. Sharply; fiercely.
Derived terms[edit]

Noun[edit]

fell (uncountable)

  1. Gall; anger; melancholy.

Statistics[edit]

Etymology 5[edit]

Noun[edit]

fell

  1. (mining) The finer portions of ore which go through the meshes when the ore is sorted by sifting.

Albanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Albanian *spesla, methatesized form of *spelsa, from Proto-Indo-European *pels 'deep, shallow', variant of *spel- 'to cleave, break'. Compare hydronym Pelso (Latin authors referred to modern Lake Balaton as "lacus Pelso"). Cognate to Greek σπήλαιο (spílaio) ‘cave, cavern’. Mostly dialectal, used in Gheg Albanian.

Adverb[edit]

fell

  1. deep, shallow
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Icelandic[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Old Norse

Noun[edit]

fell n

  1. hill

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Verb[edit]

fell

  1. imperative of felle

Old English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Proto-Germanic *fellą, whence also Old High German vel

Noun[edit]

fell n

  1. fell
  2. skin