fall to

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fall to (third-person singular simple present falls to, present participle falling to, simple past fell to, past participle fallen to)

  1. (intransitive, dated) To enter into or begin an activity, especially with enthusiasm or commitment and especially in regard to the activities of eating or drinking.
    • c. 1593, William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, act 3, scene 2:
      Titus: Come, let's fall to; and, gentle girl, eat this.
    • 1877, George MacDonald, chapter 54, in The Marquis of Lossie:
      In the middle of it, in front of the little public house, stood, all that day and the next, a group of men and women, for no five minutes in its component parts the same, but, like a cloud, ever slow dissolving, and as continuously reforming, some dropping away, others falling to.
    • 1879, Anthony Trollope, chapter 7, in William Makepeace Thackeray:
      [H]e is interrupted by the arrival of a hamper of wine . . . upon the receipt of which he sends for three friends, and they fall to instantly, drinking two bottles apiece.
    • 1910, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter 9, in The Fortune Hunter:
      [T]he floor was thick with a litter of rubbish. . . . Duncan surveyed it ruefully, but with the will to do strong in him, took off his coat, turned up his trousers, and fell to.
    • 1934 March 26, "Books: Hurstwurst" (book review of Anitra's Dance by Fannie Hurst), Time (retrieved 1 May 2014):
      Many a reader whose appetite rejoices in hearty fare tucked in his napkin, smacked his lips and fell to with a will.

Usage notes[edit]

He fell to his knees.
The responsibility fell to her.



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