Definition of cascade in English:


Syllabification: cas·cade
Pronunciation: /kasˈkād


  • 1A small waterfall, typically one of several that fall in stages down a steep rocky slope.
    More example sentences
    • It also contains a series of waterfalls and cascades to further enhance the beauty of a hole that is certain to generate a lot of comment throughout the week.
    • The aquatic plants typically grow on rocks in cascades, waterfalls and rapids where there are great seasonal fluctuations in river water levels.
    • Miniature ravines, waterfalls and cascades created effervescent sounds as the water gushed between the rocks.
  • 1.1A mass of something that falls or hangs in copious or luxuriant quantities: a cascade of pink bougainvillea
    More example sentences
    • The high ceiling was draped in more curtains, hanging down in billowing cascades of color.
    • Seething, Eden slammed her hands onto the table, her cascade of red curls falling across the front of her shoulders.
    • Louisa walked up the aisle in a lavish full-length dress that featured a cascade of layers of pink tulle.
  • 1.2A large number or amount of something occurring or arriving in rapid succession: a cascade of antiwar literature
    More example sentences
    • That earnings slip triggered a cascade of problems.
    • And this has triggered a cascade of problems, persuading the organisation to take up their cause.
    • Though I hardly understood the process, the question triggered a cascade of impressions about a person in a debilitated state of health.
  • 2A process whereby something, typically information or knowledge, is successively passed on: [as modifier]: the greater the number of people who are well briefed, the wider the cascade effect
    More example sentences
    • You sometimes get a cascade effect where Britain is most expensive, then you have the Continent and then you get the United States, where prices are the cheapest.
    • Moreover, in contrast to adoptions, we did not find information cascades for abandonment.
    • Computers would make maths more satisfying too, even in as minor a way as the thrill of devising the correct formula in Excel and then watching the resulting cascade effect in a spreadsheet.
  • 2.1A succession of devices or stages in a process, each of which triggers or initiates the next.
    More example sentences
    • Spinal cord injuries trigger a cascade of inflammatory changes that add further insult to the initial injury.
    • But they are still seeking to identify what triggered a cascade of power plant shutdowns that created havoc throughout the region as transport systems, services and businesses closed down.
    • Compelling evidence now suggests that inflammation can trigger a cascade of responses that culminate in tissue destruction that is characteristic of this disease.


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  • 1 [no object] (Of water) pour downward rapidly and in large quantities: water was cascading down the stairs
    More example sentences
    • I walked through the waterfall and up the stairs (which also had water cascading down them).
    • With water cascading down from a height of 4,500 ft. and splitting into five smaller falls, the Kempty waterfalls offers a panoramic view.
    • Water was also cascading down Worth Way itself.
  • 1.1Fall or hang in copious or luxuriant quantities: blonde hair cascaded down her back
    More example sentences
    • She let her head hang down and her velvet, ebony hair cascaded down her shoulders.
    • I let it down into loose curls that cascaded down my back and hung in all the right places.
    • She had the deepest of deep green eyes, and long curled blonde hair that fell about her shoulders loosely and cascaded down her back.
  • 2 [with object] Arrange (a number of devices or objects) in a series or sequence.
    More example sentences
    • Up to four units can be cascaded, providing a scalable solution.
    • In addition, switches can be cascaded together.
    • The Italian boys simply cascaded a few of these basic systems to make their very effective demo.


mid 17th century: from French, from Italian cascata, from cascare 'to fall', based on Latin casus (see case1).

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