Definition of pratfall in English:

pratfall

noun

informal
  • 1A fall on to one's buttocks:

    ‘he took a pratfall into the sand’
    • ‘He plays innocent puppy passion perfectly and actually makes you feel Tom's pain without relying on a pratfall or incredibly idiotic double take.’
    • ‘As You Like It is Shakespeare at his most lighthearted - his romcom phase, if you will - full of cross-dressing, pratfalls and playfully abysmal puns.’
    • ‘And, finally, pratfalls are a universal language, and Moliere never betrayed his debt to the Italian tradition of commedia dell'arte.’
    • ‘The movie contains many of the staples - physical pratfalls, moments of gross-out exuberance, and extreme expressions of political incorrectness - but the energy is missing.’
    • ‘He is constantly involved in physical pratfalls, more cartoon figure than a person.’
    • ‘The show ends where it began, balancing on the edge of a pratfall.’
    • ‘From the commedia dell'arte to Jackie Chan, the pratfall and other seemingly unpremeditated mishaps of physical humor have had a timeless appeal.’
    • ‘They did every convention, from pratfalls to bad catch phrases to a live audience that laughed uproariously at the stupidest jokes - and were then accentuated by a laugh track.’
    • ‘It was indeed a volatile matrix of uncertainty that excited the imagination and the pen, giving us a play, Romeo and Juliet, a sublime mixture of pratfalls and poetry that appealed to crowd and Queen alike.’
    • ‘As well as being a sad commentary on the state of the American comedy - a genre that once stood tall and proud - it appears as a cautionary tale about the pratfalls of pursuing an acting career.’
    • ‘And he also had a nation's sides splitting in the second-placed moment, a classic old-fashioned pratfall in which he falls through a raised bar flap while trying to impress two women in a pub.’
    • ‘Not many actors can sing, dance, wear a puffy shirt and do pratfalls while still looking macho.’
    • ‘Now, before you start up those emails, I'm not saying that movies shouldn't have pratfalls and physical comedy in them.’
    • ‘For every philosophical joke there is a pratfall or sight gag offered to balance things out.’
    • ‘The fall, of course, was a choreographed pratfall, spoofing all the negative stories surrounding ‘Sweet Charity.’’
    • ‘The segment, with a voice-over explaining the action, consisted largely of speeded up film and slapstick pratfalls.’
    • ‘He also shows off his well-known aptitude for pratfalls and physical comedy in this skit.’
    • ‘It's a strange combination of burlesque - hamming, self-parody, staged pratfalls and the gradual abrasion of the fourth wall - and the truly affecting and sinister.’
    • ‘It's simply not the right setting for a play so full of movement and slapstick pratfalls: the cramped stage forces the cast to huddle together, while the echoey acoustics magnify every trip and body-slam.’
    • ‘They were used to seeing Beau hit his head and make a fool of himself - it was the kind of thing he liked to do to entertain the folks; always jumping around and dancing on tabletops and doing pratfalls.’
    1. 1.1 An embarrassing failure or mistake:
      ‘the first political pratfalls of the new administration’
      • ‘The show often revolves around her I Love Lucy-esque pratfalls and goof-ups.’
      • ‘It helps that the two kids involved in the romance are of college age, so as to avoid the truly stupid pratfalls apparently inherent in screenplays involving high-school-age types.’
      • ‘But the film suffers many of the pratfalls associated with remakes, in particular the warmed-up leftovers syndrome.’
      • ‘Clark has been protected from media scrutiny by the awful pratfalls that marked the beginning of his campaign.’
      • ‘I think of it more as a no-system system with the same pitfalls and pratfalls as every other system, due to human involvement more than anything.’
      • ‘Some of the most common pratfalls will actually help in this regard.’
      • ‘Faith in the perfectibility of man has caused more pratfalls than the banana peel.’
      • ‘The hardest part in confessing all this is that aside from my pronounced predilection for pratfalls, I really can't justify our forbidden love.’
      • ‘In an attempt to lighten the mood, the camera follows the pratfalls of the galley crew trying to catch the food falling off the counters as the ship takes evasive maneuvers.’
      • ‘Naturally, things don't proceed quite as planned, with emotional pratfalls complicating the addled pair's marriage contract.’
      • ‘All the while we're privy to Bridget's innermost thoughts as she discovers the pratfalls and perils of being a single woman in the city.’
      • ‘You'd think the team's long history of past playoff pratfalls would be motivation enough.’
      • ‘Moving to the other side of the aisle, the Democrats certainly had their fair share of political pratfalls.’

Pronunciation

pratfall

/ˈpratfɔːl/