fall back

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v fall back go back to bad behavior "Those who recidivate are often minor criminals"
    • v fall back retreat
    • v fall back move back and away from "The enemy fell back"
    • v fall back hang (back) or fall (behind) in movement, progress, development, etc.
    • v fall back fall backwards and down
    • v fall back have recourse to "The government resorted to rationing meat"
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Niagara Falls actually stopped flowing back in 1848 for about 20 hours because there was ice that was blocking the Niagara River
    • Fall back to retreat, give way
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Quotations

  • Elwyn Brooks White
    Elwyn%20Brooks%20White
    “In middle life, the human back is spoiling for a technical knockout and will use the flimsiest excuse, even a sneeze, to fall apart.”
  • Charles De Gaulle
    Charles%20De%20Gaulle
    “Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back on himself. He imposes his own stamp of action, takes responsibility for it, makes it his own.”
  • Sigmund Freud
    Sigmund%20Freud
    “The conscious mind may be compared to a fountain playing in the sun and falling back into the great subterranean pool of subconscious from which it rises.”
  • Camille Paglia
    Camille%20Paglia
    “Every man must define his identity against his mother. If he does not, he just falls back into her and is swallowed up.”

Idioms

Fall off the back of a lorry - (UK) If someone tries to sell you something that has fallen of the back of a lorry, they are trying to sell you stolen goods.
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. feallan; Ger. fallen; prob. conn. with L. fallĕre, to deceive.

Usage

In literature:

We barely had time to fall back to some small bushes, where we waited while the flanking party approached.
"In Africa" by John T. McCutcheon
He uttered but few words of thanks, and again falling back on his pillow, dropped off to sleep.
"The Missing Ship" by W. H. G. Kingston
Then the attap will all fall back again, and no one will see as the place has been disturbed.
"Trapped by Malays" by George Manville Fenn
After the fall of Columbus no attempt was made to hold Hickman, but the Confederates fell back upon Island No.
"The Gulf and Inland Waters" by A. T. Mahan
Teachers of singing are obliged to fall back on purely empirical instruction on this topic.
"The Psychology of Singing" by David C. Taylor
By this time General Heintzelman had arrived with his corps; and orders were given to fall back to a third line.
"Three Years in the Sixth Corps" by George T. Stevens
The troops were at once ordered to fall back a mile and a half, and to pitch on fresh ground.
"For Name and Fame" by G. A. Henty
Leaving the advanced pickets to fall back before the Hessians, they turned towards the British in their rear.
"The Campaign of 1776 around New York and Brooklyn" by Henry P. Johnston
Unaided, the 6th Gurkhas got well astride the ridge, but had to fall back owing to the lack of his support.
"Gallipoli Diary, Volume 2" by Ian Hamilton
Altogether, although forced to fall back, the affair is more creditable than many a brilliant victory.
"The Young Franc Tireurs" by G. A. Henty
If they fall back they'll try to burn the bridges.
"The Long Roll" by Mary Johnston
IN WHICH THE TEXAN ARMY FALLS BACK.
"For the Liberty of Texas" by Edward Stratemeyer
Out-manoeuvred and cut off from the best cover, the Apaches were beginning to fall back down the valley.
"Bloom of Cactus" by Robert Ames Bennet
Having no sure knowledge to fall back upon, he is brought to a standstill of hesitation and suspense.
"Human Traits and their Social Significance" by Irwin Edman
The infantry were still falling back.
"Pushed and the Return Push" by George Herbert Fosdike Nichols, (AKA Quex)
Martha drew a long breath and was just falling back into an easier posture after her extended survey, when a hand touched her shoulder.
"The Transformation of Job" by Frederick Vining Fisher
Hold your own for awhile and then gradually fall back.
"The Launch Boys' Adventures in Northern Waters" by Edward S. Ellis
Let us fall back on the utilitarian basis of ethics.
"A Pessimist" by Robert Timsol
After a severe fight the Poles had to fall back over the Narev.
"A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year" by Edwin Emerson
Falling back slowly, they drew him into the mountain defiles until he found himself entrapped.
"The Hero" by William Somerset Maugham
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In poetry:

By Konigsberg, one early morning,
We both shall fall, two wounded men,
And then a month in hospital,
And we'll survive, and back again.
"Comrades In Arms" by Konstantin Simonov
"For all men do some evil deed,
And some men falter, some men fall;
Do ghosts of Selfishness and Greed
Come back, O God, to haunt them all!"
"Haunted" by Charles Hanson Towne
There, as we roll'd and writhed together,
I threw my arms above my head,
For close by my side, in the lovely weather,
I saw him reel and fall back dead.
"Riding Together" by William Morris
Think you I find no bitterness at all?
No burden to be borne, like Christian's pack?
Think you there are no ready tears to fall
Because I keep them back?
"Courage" by Celia Laighton Thaxter
He will not fall, my hero; he will come
Bringing ripe honours more to honour me;
He will come scatheless back, and tell his home
He helped to keep it free.
"No News From The War" by Augusta Davies Webster
The things, oh LIFE! thou quickenest, all
Strive upwards toward the broad bright sky,
Upward and outward, and they fall
Back to earth's bosom when they die.
"Life" by William Cullen Bryant

In news:

A federal lawsuit filed against the former senator Robert G Torricelli alleges that he reneged on a pledge to a venture capital fund backed by the Small Business Administration, falling $75,000 short of the $100,000 investment commitment.
If we can talk about back-to-school sales and preseason football in August, then we can discuss one more of autumn's rites: the fall color vacation.
The problems with trellises falling down often go back to the anchor.
"Words unsaid can fall back dead, but God himself can't stop them once they're said.".
Z ach Hill isn't one to fall back on career moves out of the rock 'n' roll handbook.
It's hard to imagine two strong storm systems pounding the East coast and New England within a two week period OK, now that I say that, I guess I have to take it back since the back to back blizzards of February 2010 fall into that category.
That means you should "fall back" one hour tonight, so you don't show-up for church and other activities an hour early tomorrow morning.
Without a deal, the US economy could fall back into a recession.
British business minister Vince Cable said Britain could fall back into recession for a third time since the 2008 financial crisis but expected the economy to stagger on with minimal growth.
The Spurs' schedule falls in the middle of the brutality scale: 17 sets of back-to-backs and two sets of four games in five nights.
Don't fall back into old habits that led you to seek out a chiropractor in the beginning.
I love hearing what different home cooks fall back on for simple, weekday meals.
It's that time of year where we get to "fall back" and gain an extra hour of sleep.
10 things to remember on the road as clocks fall back.
Clocks "fall back" on Sunday Turn back clocks , check smoke detectors, fire officials urge.
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In science:

After the spiral density wave passes, the gas will fall back onto the plane; however, in certain cases, Martos et al. showed that conditions are favorable for star formation while the ejected gas is still far from the plane.
Young stars at large distances from the galactic plane: mechanisms of formation
Mππ spectra essentially fall back to phase space.
Hadron Physics at COSY
The duration of a burst is set by the fall-back timescale rather than the accretion timescale91 , which is natural to interpret the durations of long GRBs.
Gamma-Ray Bursts: Progress, Problems & Prospects
Vacuum fluctuations in the B phase can produce an f ¯f pair, say with f having positive energy and ¯f having negative energy. ¯f falls into the dumbhole, and if its velocity is very low, cannot escape back out into the B-phase region. f escapes and forms Hawking radiation.
Cosmic Problems for Condensed Matter Experiment
Tagieva: The test for checking the applicability of fall-back or propeller models for the pulsar evolution was proposed.
On the Present and Future of Pulsar Astronomy
They favor a gradual increase in the perpendicular component of the field or torque due to fall-back in a disk, but present competing mechanisms as well.
Astrophysics in 2006
The disk has a lifetime long compared to P /2 ˙P but short compared to massive star lives, and so presumably is made of fall-back material.
Astrophysics in 2006
The time development of the bursts has generally been explained by a photosphere that expands and falls back (Wolff et al. 2005, and implied also by Naka jima et al. 2006), but Bhattacharya and Strohmayer (2006) advocate flames spreading over the surface instead.
Astrophysics in 2006
A global proper motion analysis shows outer components falling back from earlier pulsation cycles simultaneously with outflow during the current pulsation cycle.
Stellar masers, circumstellar envelopes, and supernova remnants
The rate at which the remaining debris falls-back to pericenter is dM /dt = (dM /dǫ)(dǫ/dra )(dra /dt) (Phinney 1989).
UV/Optical Detections of Candidate Tidal Disruption Events by GALEX and CFHTLS
After the shock the gas falls back on the core over a timescale of few hours being the final result a readjustment instead of a catastroph ic transformation.
Constraints to Uranus' Great Collision. IV. The Origin of Prospero
For a hologram of the stone Fig.3(c) see recent paper : but to our knowledge the holographic “back reaction” of the falling waves remains to be done.
Quark-Gluon Plasma - New Frontiers
The approach to the Bloch-Kato conjecture used in the present paper goes back to the fall of 1996.
On motivic cohomology with Z/l coefficients
Any light leaving such an ob ject would be trapped by the gravitational field and fall back, rendering it invisible.
Dynamics of black holes
If bound HVSs had main sequence lifetimes greater than ∼1 Gyr, we would see them falling back onto the Galaxy, contrary to the observations.
Hypervelocity Stars and the Galactic Center
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