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”).
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.
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- (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.