Word Origin & History
O.E. feallan (class VII strong verb; past tense feoll, pp. feallen), from P.Gmc. *fallanan (cf. O.N. falla, O.H.G. fallan), from PIE base *phol- "to fall" (cf. Armenian p'ul "downfall," Lith. puola "to fall," O.Prus. aupallai "finds," lit. "falls upon"). Noun sense of "autumn" (now only in U.S.) is 1660s,
short for fall of the leaf (1540s). That of "cascade, waterfall" is from 1570s. Most of the figurative senses had developed in M.E. Meaning "to be reduced" (as temperature) is from 1650s. To fall in love is attested from 1520s; to fall asleep is late 14c. Fall guy is from 1906.