Definition of waterfall in US English:



  • A cascade of water falling from a height, formed when a river or stream flows over a precipice or steep incline.

    • ‘There are also a variety of flowers and trees, a rushing stream and waterfalls.’
    • ‘Far above them a river flowed off the mountain range, forming a waterfall.’
    • ‘The first day's trekking took us through beautiful mountain forests with waterfalls and streams.’
    • ‘He could hear the steady flow of a waterfall not too far away and wondered where it was.’
    • ‘Many other streams and waterfalls run through this area's rocky escarpments and narrow valleys.’
    • ‘Fast-flowing rivers create spectacular waterfalls, gorges and a myriad of caves.’
    • ‘It flew in search of waterfalls that fell off the hills and flowed in serpentine paths on the plains.’
    • ‘Everything here seems to be on a grand scale - the lakes and waterfalls as well as the mountains.’
    • ‘The road took them past waterfalls and over gorges and along a cliff by the sea.’
    • ‘It was an amazing ride that took us over canyons and by waterfalls.’
    • ‘Each island is gorgeous, with waterfalls, rivers, and all sorts of vegetation.’
    • ‘The peaks and the valleys, rivers and the waterfalls truly make the whole environment a paradise.’
    • ‘The crystal clear water poured from level to level in several waterfalls of varied heights.’
    • ‘Like water flowing down a waterfall, the teams smashed into one another.’
    • ‘Pine trees, in addition to hills, valleys and waterfalls, added beauty to the city.’
    • ‘A waterfall cascading over the stepped landscape means that you are nearly there.’
    • ‘It is mantled with rainforest and there are rivers, lakes and waterfalls.’
    • ‘As well as the obvious plants and trees there are also waterfalls, lakes and examples of typical houses found in those areas.’
    • ‘Water ran down the sides of the valley to join the river and fell in waterfalls and bright sheets over the road.’
    • ‘They were standing on top of a great network of underground rivers and waterfalls.’
    cascade, cataract, shower, torrent, outpouring, white water, chute
    View synonyms


  • Relating to or denoting a method of project management that is characterized by sequential stages and a fixed plan of work.

    ‘each phase of a waterfall project must be complete prior to moving to the next phase’
    Contrasted with agile (sense 2)
    • ‘As more companies move from a traditional waterfall software development approach to an agile one, suppliers are offering more test automation tools and services.’
    • ‘For many years the standard software development contract has been prepared on the basis of a waterfall development methodology.’
    • ‘Traditional waterfall methods for developing software are rapidly declining in popularity as more recently developed Agile methodologies are increasingly adopted.’
    • ‘Waterfall methods do hold value for certain projects and some development teams.’
    • ‘The team started off the project using a typical waterfall development model.’