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Denotation vs. Connotation

downfall

[doun-fawl] /ˈdaʊnˌfɔl/
noun
1.
descent to a lower position or standing; overthrow; ruin.
2.
something causing ruin, failure, etc.:
Liquor was his downfall.
3.
a fall, as of rain, snow, or the like, often sudden or heavy.
4.
a trap using a falling weight for killing, injuring, or imprisoning the prey.
Origin of downfall
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English; see down1, fall
Related forms
downfallen, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for downfall
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the capital the effect was to hasten the downfall of the Shouyskie dynasty.

  • The vast host of rationalists are busy proclaiming 184 the downfall of religion.

    Mountain Meditations L. Lind-af-Hageby
  • There was no longer any talk of the downfall of England within a few months.

    In the World War Count Ottokar Czernin
  • A roar of laughter rose from all who witnessed the fine gentleman's downfall.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • The downfall of Louis Philippe in 1848 at once convulsed the whole of central Europe.

British Dictionary definitions for downfall

downfall

/ˈdaʊnˌfɔːl/
noun
1.
a sudden loss of position, health, or reputation
2.
a fall of rain, snow, etc, esp a sudden heavy one
3.
another word for deadfall
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 downfall
n.

"ruin, fall from high condition," c.1300, from down (adv.) + fall (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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15
18
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