Definition of pratfall in English:



  • 1A fall on to one's buttocks.

    ‘he took a pratfall into the sand’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Not many actors can sing, dance, wear a puffy shirt and do pratfalls while still looking macho.’
    • ‘He is constantly involved in physical pratfalls, more cartoon figure than a person.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He plays innocent puppy passion perfectly and actually makes you feel Tom's pain without relying on a pratfall or incredibly idiotic double take.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The fall, of course, was a choreographed pratfall, spoofing all the negative stories surrounding ‘Sweet Charity.’’
    • ‘For every philosophical joke there is a pratfall or sight gag offered to balance things out.’
    • ‘And, finally, pratfalls are a universal language, and Moliere never betrayed his debt to the Italian tradition of commedia dell'arte.’
    • ‘From the commedia dell'arte to Jackie Chan, the pratfall and other seemingly unpremeditated mishaps of physical humor have had a timeless appeal.’
    • ‘The segment, with a voice-over explaining the action, consisted largely of speeded up film and slapstick pratfalls.’
    • ‘The show ends where it began, balancing on the edge of a pratfall.’
    • ‘He also shows off his well-known aptitude for pratfalls and physical comedy in this skit.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now, before you start up those emails, I'm not saying that movies shouldn't have pratfalls and physical comedy in them.’
    1. 1.1 An embarrassing failure or mistake.
      ‘the first political pratfalls of the new administration’
      • ‘Clark has been protected from media scrutiny by the awful pratfalls that marked the beginning of his campaign.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But the film suffers many of the pratfalls associated with remakes, in particular the warmed-up leftovers syndrome.’
      • ‘The hardest part in confessing all this is that aside from my pronounced predilection for pratfalls, I really can't justify our forbidden love.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Moving to the other side of the aisle, the Democrats certainly had their fair share of political pratfalls.’