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cascade

[kas-keyd] /kæsˈkeɪd/
noun
1.
a waterfall descending over a steep, rocky surface.
2.
a series of shallow or steplike waterfalls, either natural or artificial.
3.
anything that resembles a waterfall, especially in seeming to flow or fall in abundance:
a cascade of roses covering the wall.
4.
(in a drain or sewer) a chain of steps for dissipating the momentum of falling water in a steep place in order to maintain a steady rate of flow.
5.
an arrangement of a lightweight fabric in folds falling one over another in random or zigzag fashion.
6.
a type of firework resembling a waterfall in effect.
7.
Chemistry. a series of vessels, from each of which a fluid successively overflows to the next, thus presenting a large absorbing surface, as to a gas.
8.
Electricity. an arrangement of component devices, as electrolytic cells, each of which feeds into the next in succession.
9.
Biochemistry. a series of reactions catalyzed by enzymes that are activated sequentially by successive products of the reactions, resulting in an amplification of the initial response.
verb (used without object), cascaded, cascading.
10.
to fall in or like a cascade.
verb (used with object), cascaded, cascading.
11.
to cause to fall in a cascade.
12.
Electricity. to arrange (components) in a cascade.
Origin
1635-1645
1635-45; < French < Italian cascata, equivalent to casc(are) to fall (< Vulgar Latin *cāsicāre, equivalent to cās(us) fallen (past participle of cadere) + -icā- formative v. suffix + -re infinitive ending) + -ata -ade1
Related forms
cascader, noun
uncascaded, adjective
uncascading, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for cascade
  • They dread nothing more than a cascade of generic copies and falling prices.
  • cascade of gas centrifuges used to produce enriched uranium.
  • All this points to a possible conclusion: the grief cascade is genetically programmed.
  • There was a cascade, white and plummeting, beyond the cabin.
  • Suddenly, there's a brief, violent cascade of errors and misjudgments.
  • Joe repairs equipment in what's called the cascade-a six-hundred-mile complex of pipes which comprises the enrichment system.
  • Physicians can already enhance the clotting process with drugs or materials that incorporate molecules in the clotting cascade.
  • The result is that only cancer cells are vulnerable to the light-activated cascade.
  • Click here for more information on mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers.
  • When the body senses damage to a blood vessel, it starts a biochemical chain reaction-called a cascade-to repair the injury.
British Dictionary definitions for cascade

cascade

/kæsˈkeɪd/
noun
1.
a waterfall or series of waterfalls over rocks
2.
something resembling this, such as folds of lace
3.
  1. a consecutive sequence of chemical or physical processes
  2. (as modifier) cascade liquefaction
4.
  1. a series of stages in the processing chain of an electrical signal where each operates the next in turn
  2. (as modifier) a cascade amplifier
5.
the cumulative process responsible for the formation of an electrical discharge, cosmic-ray shower, or Geiger counter avalanche in a gas
6.
the sequence of spontaneous decays by an excited atom or ion
verb
7.
(intransitive) to flow or fall in or like a cascade
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Italian cascata, from cascare to fall, ultimately from Latin cadere to fall
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cascade
n.

1640s, from French cascade (17c.), from Italian cascata "waterfall," from cascare "to fall," from Vulgar Latin *casicare, frequentative of Latin casum, casus, past participle of cadere "to fall" (see case (n.1)).

v.

1702, from cascade (n.). In early 19c. slang, "to vomit." Related: Cascaded; cascading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cascade in Medicine

cascade cas·cade (kā-skād')
n.
A succession of actions, processes, or operations, as of a physiological process.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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cascade in Science
cascade
  (kās-kād')   
A series of chemical or physiological processes that occur in successive stages, each of which is dependent on the preceding one, to produce a culminating effect. The steps involved in the clotting of blood occur as a cascade.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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cascade in Technology

1. A huge volume of spurious error-messages output by a compiler with poor error recovery. Too frequently, one trivial syntax error (such as a missing ")" or "}") throws the parser out of synch so that much of the remaining program text, whether correct or not, is interpreted as garbaged or ill-formed.
2. A chain of Usenet followups, each adding some trivial variation or riposte to the text of the previous one, all of which is reproduced in the new message; an include war in which the object is to create a sort of communal graffito.
3. A collection of interconneced networking devices, typically hubs, that allows those devices to act together as a logical repeater.
[Jargon File]
(1997-07-17)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Encyclopedia Article for cascade

waterfall, especially a series of small falls, consisting of water descending over rocks or boulders. It may be natural or it may be artificial. The cascade has often been used as a feature of formal gardens.

Learn more about cascade with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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