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Godafoss, a waterfall in Iceland


From Middle English waterfal, waterfalle, from Old English wæterġefeall ‎(waterfall), equivalent to water +‎ fall. Cognate with West Frisian wetterfal ‎(waterfall), Dutch waterval ‎(waterfall), German Wasserfall ‎(waterfall), Swedish vattenfall ‎(waterfall).


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waterfall ‎(plural waterfalls)

  1. A flow of water over the edge of a cliff.
  2. (figuratively) A waterfall-like outpouring of liquid, smoke, etc.
    • A waterfall of mist from the open freezer.
  3. (technical, computing, slang) Waterfall model
    • A very long duration project [...] had taken a whole group of people through a painful waterfall development process.


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waterfall ‎(third-person singular simple present waterfalls, present participle waterfalling, simple past and past participle waterfalled)

  1. (intransitive) To fall like a waterfall.
    • 1994, Nora Roberts, Private Scandals, page 54:
      Rain ran off the bill of his fielder's cap and waterfalled in front of his face.
    • 1999, Jane Yolen; Bruce Coville, Armageddon Summer‎, page 79:
      Zondra, whose dirty-blond hair waterfalled above her head from a colorful tie, gave a snorting, horsey kind of laugh.
    • 2008, John Gardner, No Human Enemy‎, page 156:
      they turned into the drive of The Manor with its red-brick front and the wonderful cloak of Virginia creeper waterfalling down between the windows.

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