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- A precipitous decline in fortune; death or rapid deterioration, as in status or wealth.
- Synonyms: fall (precipitous decline in fortune), doom (death or rapid deterioration)
- Many economic and political reasons led to the downfall of the Roman Empire.
- The cause of such a fall; a critical blow or error.
- Orson Scott Card
- It is the downfall of evil, that it never sees far enough ahead.
- Orson Scott Card
- An act of falling down.
- a downfall of rain
- 1880–1881, Thomas Hardy, chapter VII, in A Laodicean; or, The Castle of the De Stancys. A Story of To-day. [...] In Three Volumes, volume II, London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, […], published 1881, OCLC 1080146765, book the third (De Stancy), page 147:
- [T]he prominent character of leading young lady or heroine, which Paula was to personate, was really the most satisfactory in the whole list for her. For although she was to be wooed hard, there was just as much love-making among the remaining personages; while, as Somerset had understood the play, there could occur no flingings of her person upon her lover's neck, or agonized downfalls upon the stage, in her whole performance, [...]
precipitous decline in fortune; death or rapid deterioration, as in status or wealth
cause of such a fall; a critical blow or error
- (intransitive) To fall down; deteriorate; decline.
- 1977, Mina P. Shaughnessy, Errors and expectations: a guide for the teacher of basic writing:
- [...] wants to make civilization his subject, he will have a hard time proceeding with the sentence unless collapse is in his active vocabulary, for he cannot say "our civilization will downfall" or "fall down."
- 1998, Peter Vink, Ernst A. P. Koningsveld, Steven Dhondt, Human factors in organizational design and management-VI:
- Common belief has been that in the future the number of middle managers will downfall due to empowerment and team-building.
- 1998, Lithuanian physics journal:
- It should be noted that the magnitude of satellites decreases when tuning out of degeneracy, and in the wavelength range of 1.2-1.3 pm it downfalls to the value of 10-15% of the main spike magnitude.
- 2008, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra:
- [...] As goodly air as ever From lunar orb downfell— Be it by hazard, Or supervened it by arrogancy?