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[krest-faw-luh n] /ˈkrɛstˌfɔ lən/
dejected; dispirited; discouraged.
having a drooping crest or head.
Origin of crestfallen
1580-90; crest + fallen
Related forms
crestfallenly, adverb
crestfallenness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for crestfallen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Lame, bruised, and crestfallen, we walked the remainder of the way into Denver.

  • "I've not the least objection," said the crestfallen Parson basely.

  • He looked at them both alternately in a piteous, crestfallen way.

    Septimus William J. Locke
  • So, whenever I met him, I defied him to do it; and he sloped off crestfallen, I can tell you.'

  • Starr, speechless and crestfallen, was indicating the chair where the body of Virginia Darrow had been.

    The Gray Phantom Herman Landon
  • O'Rourke's crestfallen air stirred the sympathetic Souza's pity.

    The Snare Rafael Sabatini
  • On solid earth the cowboy is a crestfallen and dejected object.

    The Free Range Francis William Sullivan
British Dictionary definitions for crestfallen


dejected, depressed, or disheartened
Derived Forms
crestfallenly, adverb
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 crestfallen

1580s, past participle adjective, but the verb crestfall is recorded only from 1610s, in reference to diseased horses, and is rare. It's possible that the image behind this use of the word is not cocks, as often is asserted, but horses.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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