Definition of downfall in English:



  • 1A loss of power, prosperity, or status.

    ‘the crisis led to the downfall of the government’
    • ‘His attempts at reform ultimately led to his downfall, and he has lived in exile in Italy since 1973.’
    • ‘He describes her feeling of utter betrayal at the circumstances that led to her downfall.’
    • ‘That led to the downfall of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International.’
    • ‘He didn't need it, and it led to his ultimate downfall.’
    • ‘Seizure of both the northern and southern oilfields will inevitably, the thinking is said to go, lead to the downfall of him.’
    • ‘But it led to the downfall of several ministers involved in extra-marital relationships.’
    • ‘Famed as a colourful cultural melting pot, the qualities that blessed New Orleans with its unique character also served as a curse that led to its downfall.’
    • ‘They are three sisters who trick Macbeth into believing that he is invincible, which leads to his downfall.’
    • ‘But there is one other sticky point that could very easily lead to his downfall.’
    • ‘Although he has made it clear he will not regard the motion as binding, such a defeat would be immensely damaging and could even lead to his downfall.’
    • ‘The edge he plays with can lead to his downfall if he takes undisciplined penalties.’
    • ‘It was this that would eventually lead to his downfall.’
    • ‘It may not lead to the downfall of the state, but then neither did the eight-hour day campaigns that are its inspiration.’
    • ‘The couple raked in millions of dollars but the credit card charges that made their fortune also led to their downfall.’
    • ‘However, some films failed to find their mark, leading to the downfall of companies such as FilmFour Productions and Granada Films.’
    • ‘Perhaps it was his inability to sell the Agreement to the average unionist led to the downfall of this clever but rather charmless and now isolated figure.’
    • ‘In 1999, a dioxin scare led to the downfall of the Belgian Government.’
    • ‘Ironically, it is the emphasis Dutch governments have placed on multiculturalism that has helped lead to its inevitable downfall.’
    • ‘What could she do to prevent their downfall when the power to change things always seemed to be in someone else's hands?’
    • ‘It was this merger of Malchut and Mochiach that eventually led to the downfall of the empire.’
    undoing, ruin, ruination, loss of power, loss of prosperity, loss of status
    defeat, conquest, vanquishing, toppling, deposition, ousting, unseating, overthrow, nemesis, destruction, annihilation, elimination, end, collapse, fall, crash, failure, debasement, degradation, disgrace
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The cause of a loss of power, prosperity, or status.
      ‘his intractability will prove to be his downfall’
      • ‘There seems no doubt that when public opinion turns against Eriksson, his disregard for histrionics will be cited as the chief reason for his downfall.’
      • ‘These are also a reason of the downfall of the industry.’
      • ‘In the realm of the tragic hero there is always a fatal flaw in his personality that causes or precipitates his downfall.’
      • ‘The constant friction with his superiors probably hastened his downfall.’
      • ‘Huge exposure to guaranteed annuities was the main reason for the downfall of discredited insurer Equitable Life, as it had not kept enough reserves to pay them.’
      • ‘I worry that reality television will be the ultimate downfall of society altogether.’
      • ‘With the dust now settled on him, he muses that this push for the local may, ironically, have precipitated its downfall.’
      • ‘I think the WWE's heavy reliance on predictable storylines and HHH will be its downfall.’
      • ‘But it was standing a bad debt for a friend that proved his downfall.’
      • ‘It was previously announced that a decline in channel sales, as well as in site licences for large accounts, was the main reason for the downfall.’
      • ‘It was widely rumored on Tuesday that his alleged wrongdoing and poor damage control would cause his downfall.’
      • ‘However their short-sightedness will ultimately cause their own downfall.’
      • ‘One of the downfalls of [CorporateConnect] was that it was all Web based.’
      • ‘However, the visual sensitivity of the area proved the ultimate downfall of the application.’
      • ‘But the high costs associated with holidaying in the republic are also thought to be a significant reason for the downfall.’
      • ‘The downfall of the ILM was first and foremost the failure of its leadership - at all levels, in all affiliated organisations.’
      • ‘The lady has convinced herself (but no one else) that she precipitated the downfall of him.’
      • ‘She cannot help but wonder whether one of her greatest strengths ultimately proved her downfall.’
      • ‘The combined forces of Harold and Tostig drove Gruffydd back into Wales, and in 1063 caused his downfall and death.’
      • ‘The film's tameness is undoubtedly its downfall.’
  • 2A heavy fall of rain or snow.

    ‘the wind was whipping up the downfall into deep drifts on the moor’
    • ‘You may have enjoyed, as many students have, the recent copious downfall of snow.’
    • ‘Then suddenly there was a downfall of rain and they raced back only to be scolded by a frantic Sir Thomas.’
    • ‘We were taking advantage of a sunny day, as it had been preceded by at least a month of constant heavy downfall.’
    • ‘Sunday will be a mixture of sunny spells and downfalls of rain and Bank Holiday Monday will continue much like Sunday, with a slight breeze.’
    • ‘The last thing we need is a heavy downfall of rain and snow at this point.’
    • ‘But I'm not sure I'm keen to have a heavy downfall here in the city just so I can look at some nice white snow.’
    • ‘Hopefully, all the little ones and not so little, enjoyed their day off school and work due to the downfall of snow, last week.’
    • ‘She didn't know why, but seeing him so happy felt so refreshing, like breathing the crisp air after a heavy downfall of rain.’
    • ‘Despite frequent downfalls of rain the spirits of the crowds on the first day of this year's regional agricultural show were not dampened.’
    • ‘The sudden appearance of thunderstorms is a very common occurrence this season as it's a summer in which we have experienced some downfalls of rain an severe lightning storms.’
    • ‘The next day, two horsemen thundered toward each other through a torrential downfall.’
    • ‘There were a few heavy downfalls, but even they proved a boon to the indoor traders who did a roaring trade when the crowds scurried for shelter in the stands.’