From Middle English waterfal, waterfalle, from Old English wæterġefeall (“waterfall”), equivalent to water + fall. Cognate with West Frisian wetterfal (“waterfall”), Dutch waterval (“waterfall”), German Wasserfall (“waterfall”), Swedish vattenfall (“waterfall”).
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈwɔːtəfɔːl/
- (US) enPR: wôʹtər-fôl, IPA(key): /ˈwɔtɚfɔl/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɔːl
waterfall (plural waterfalls)
- a flow of water over the edge of a cliff.
- (figuratively) A waterfall-like outpouring of liquid, smoke, etc.
- A waterfall of mist came from the open freezer.
- (technical, computing, slang) Waterfall model
- A very long duration project […] had taken a whole group of people through a painful waterfall development process.
- (slang, US) The action of drinking from a vessel without touching it with the lips, considered more sanitary for a shared vessel.
- Hey man, can I take a waterfall from your bottle?
- (colloquial, dated) A necktie.
- (colloquial, dated) A chignon.
- (colloquial, dated) A beard.
- I found home a dreary place after my long absence; for half the children I had known were now wearing whiskers or waterfalls... (Mark Twain, Roughing It)
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- (intransitive) To fall like a waterfall.
- 1994, Nora Roberts, Private Scandals, page 54:
- Rain ran off the bill of his fielder's cap and waterfalled in front of his face.
- 1999, Jane Yolen; Bruce Coville, Armageddon Summer, page 79:
- Zondra, whose dirty-blond hair waterfalled above her head from a colorful tie, gave a snorting, horsey kind of laugh.
- 2008, John Gardner, No Human Enemy, page 156:
- they turned into the drive of The Manor with its red-brick front and the wonderful cloak of Virginia creeper waterfalling down between the windows.
- (transitive) To drink (something) from a container by pouring it from a height so as not to touch one's lips to the rim.