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See also: Fallout, fall out, and fall-out


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From the verb fall out; fall +‎ out.



fallout (countable and uncountable, plural fallouts)

  1. The event of small airborne particles falling to the ground in significant quantities as a result of major industrial activity, volcano eruption, sandstorm, nuclear explosion, etc.
    • 2017 April 6, Samira Shackle, “On the frontline with Karachi’s ambulance drivers”, in the Guardian[1]:
      It was 5 February 2010 and Safdar had already dealt with the fallout of one explosion that day: an hour before, a motorbike laden with explosives had slammed into a bus carrying Shia Muslims to a religious procession.
  2. The particles themselves.
    On 26 April 1986 the reactor number four at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant located in the Soviet Union near Pripyat in Ukraine exploded. Further explosions and the resulting fire sent a plume of highly radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and over an extensive geographical area.
  3. A negative side effect; an undesirable or unexpected consequence.
    Synonyms: blowback, repercussions
    Psychological fallout in the shadow of terrorism (title of an article by Dr. Abraham Twerski, M.D.)[2]
  4. (rare) A declined offer in a sales transaction when acceptance was presumed.
  5. (rare) The person who declines such an offer.
  6. (radio, television, broadcasting) An impromptu guest used to fill in for another guest spot who is a no-show or who has cancelled last minute.

Derived terms[edit]


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See also[edit]