Definition of cascade in English:

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Pronunciation: /kasˈkeɪd/


1A small waterfall, typically one of several that fall in stages down a steep rocky slope: the waterfall raced down in a series of cascades
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.
waterfall, falls, water chute, cataract, rapids, torrent, flood, deluge, outpouring, white water, fountain, shower, avalanche;
Northern English  force
Scottish archaic linn
1.1A mass of something that falls or hangs in copious 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 at the same time: a cascade of anti-war 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.
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.


1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] (Of water) pour downwards 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.
pour, gush, surge, spill, stream, flow, issue, spurt, jet;
1.1Fall or hang in copious 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] Pass (something) on to a succession of others: teachers who are able to cascade their experience effectively
More example sentences
  • It was attended by 1,200 people ‘who went back and cascaded the knowledge because they were senior to middle management.’
  • I hope to cascade adult learning to other outreach centres during the coming terms.
  • I should like all to play their part in addressing this company-wide challenge, so please cascade my instructions accordingly.
3 [with object] Arrange (a number of devices or objects) in a series or sequence.
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).

Words that rhyme with cascade

abrade, afraid, aid, aide, ambuscade, arcade, balustrade, barricade, Belgrade, blade, blockade, braid, brigade, brocade, cannonade, carronade, cavalcade, cockade, colonnade, crusade, dissuade, downgrade, enfilade, esplanade, evade, fade, fusillade, glade, grade, grenade, grillade, handmade, harlequinade, homemade, invade, jade, lade, laid, lemonade, limeade, made, maid, man-made, marinade, masquerade, newlaid, orangeade, paid, palisade, parade, pasquinade, persuade, pervade, raid, serenade, shade, Sinéad, staid, stockade, stock-in-trade, suede, tailor-made, they'd, tirade, trade, Ubaid, underpaid, undismayed, unplayed, unsprayed, unswayed, upbraid, upgrade, wade

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cas|cade

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