Definition of fall on (or upon) in US English:

fall on (or upon)

phrasal verb

  • 1Attack fiercely or unexpectedly.

    ‘the army fell on the besiegers’
    • ‘Armed with blackjacks they fell upon four citizens.’
    • ‘They fell upon the king's soldiers because of the licentious conduct they had been allowed under Herod's government.’
    • ‘Neither flinched when the first attackers fell upon them.’
    • ‘He raises the knife to his face, then to the girl's neck, and it is in that moment that the other shadow strikes, falling upon the Shadow-man and attacking it with some unseen weapon.’
    • ‘The Spirit of the Lord falls upon people like Gideon, Samson, and Saul, who then lead armies that fall upon the enemies of God's people.’
    attack, assail, assault, make an assault on, fly at, let fly at, launch oneself at, set about, set upon, pounce upon, ambush, surprise, accost, rush, storm, charge
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    1. 1.1 Seize enthusiastically.
      ‘she fell on the sandwiches as though she had not eaten in weeks’
      • ‘The smokers fall upon their cigarettes with an enthusiasm only other smokers can appreciate.’
      • ‘One of them was seized and crushed like an insect, but others fell upon the beast with renewed fury until it lay dead.’
      • ‘Albert seized the opportunity instantly, falling on Theo like a bird of prey, bending him back, knife upraised for the final, triumphant killing blow.’
      • ‘Then, again, seized with a new idea, he fell upon his notebook and the pencil became alive.’
      • ‘Then you can fall upon your food in wild desperation and enthusiasm.’
      • ‘When William made to do so for her, she lunged out of the door and fell on him, her slender arms wrapping about him and pulling him close.’
      jump on, spring on, leap on, swoop on, swoop down on, dive at, drop down on, lunge at, bound at, fall on, set on, make a grab for, take by surprise, take unawares, catch off-guard, attack suddenly
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  • 2(of someone's eyes or gaze) be directed toward.

    ‘her gaze fell on the mud-stained coverlet’
    • ‘Their anxious gaze falls on her every time she cries.’
    • ‘A few minutes after ringing the doorbell, the hostess opened the door, her eyes fell on the boy and girl with genuine enthusiasm.’
    • ‘Her gaze fell upon his satchel and she silently walked towards it.’
    • ‘But his joyous expression faded as his gaze fell upon another girl.’
    • ‘LeeAnne was biting into a sandwich when her eyes fell on Morgan and Sasha.’
  • 3(of a burden or duty) be borne or incurred by.

    ‘the cost of tuition should not fall on the student’
    • ‘Anyway I knew what I needed for the class, he didn't, so it fell on me to sort out what he hadn't.’
    • ‘The burden of manning the attack fell on rookies.’
    • ‘The task of slaughtering the animals fell on the Army.’
    • ‘Responsibility for minimising casualties falls on him.’
    • ‘Dinner had to be prepared, and it fell on them to do it.’
    be borne by, be carried by, be the responsibility of, be paid by
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