Definition of free fall in English:

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free fall



[mass noun]
1Downward movement under the force of gravity only: the path of a body in free fall
More example sentences
  • That includes parachuting - both static line and free fall, scuba diving, land navigation, vehicle and boat.
  • In free fall everything is falling at the same rate and is in a weightless state, so the air is of equal density everywhere on board the spacecraft.
  • In all conditions except that of free fall, a live body can be distinguished from an inert structure by the relative disposition of the body parts, its ‘posture’.
1.1A rapid decline that cannot be stopped: her career seemed about to go into free fall
More example sentences
  • At this point anyone taking a dispassionate view of what has been going on since the markets started to go into free fall early 2001 could be forgiven for detecting more than a hint of desperation in the analysis.
  • We will undoubtedly recall that just a decade ago, shares did go into free fall, and it did result in a recession of sorts.
  • I am only too aware of the potential catastrophe if the stock market were allowed to go into free fall.
1.2The movement of a spacecraft in space without thrust from the engines.
Example sentences
  • Prior to the final touch down, the spacecraft shuts down the propulsion engine and enters into a free fall descent.
  • It is not caused by the fact that the shuttle is so far from the Earth; it is produced because the space shuttle is in free fall under the influence of gravity.
  • Cassini-Huygens is in free fall towards Saturn, which means that it is accelerating continuously.


(free-fall) [no object]
Move under the force of gravity only; fall rapidly: I was free-falling and was quickly 1,000 ft below him
More example sentences
  • But some of the scenes - like one of an astronaut free-falling from the space station - really brought home the peril of the job.
  • Within a week a dozen scientific teams will be aboard it as it thrusts skyward, then free-falls - and in so doing briefly cancels out the effect of gravity.
  • And it is said some sportsmen, to show their skill in free-falling, open their parachutes as late as possible.
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