a fall in which one lands on the buttocks, often regarded as comical or humiliating.
a humiliating blunder or defeat.

1935–40; prat + fall Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pratfall (ˈprætˌfɔːl)
slang (US), (Canadian) a fall upon one's buttocks
[C20: from C16 prat buttocks (of unknown origin) + fall]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1939, from prat "buttocks" (1567), originally criminals' slang, of unknown origin. Prat in British slang sense of "dolt, fool" is recorded from 1968.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

pratfall definition

  1. n.
    a fall on the buttocks; a fall on the buttocks done as part of a comedy act. : If you want to be in musical comedy, you should learn to take a pratfall.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
She's not above taking the occasional comedic pratfall.
Despite steady advances in hardware, no machine could think as far as to laugh
  at a pratfall or make a bad pun.
When you've seen one pratfall, however, you've seen almost all of them.
There's not a gold tooth here that isn't lingered on lovingly, and not a
  pratfall that its characters won't take.
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