someone injured or killed in an accident
from Tuesday's fighting were not immediately available, but both military and rebel sources said the shelling had caused further deaths.
Reuters (May 21, 2013)
The word "casualty," refers to those who have fallen to their deaths, not literally, but as a result of an accident, disaster, or war (or all three).
shedding foliage at the end of the growing season
trees and shrubs succeed best if planted early in autumn while the soil still retains the solar heat absorbed during summer.
Deciduous trees are what makes the fall so beautiful in places that enjoy a true changing of the seasons. Deciduous trees are called so because their leaves fall, as opposed to evergreens.
a large waterfall; violent rush of water over a precipice
You may be puzzled by the example sentence, which seems not to comport with the definition of "cataract." Although a cataract is a waterfall, when a kind of anatomical waterfall clouds over the eye, we call that condition a cataract. Cataracts of the eye are extremely common in senior citizens. Fortunately, surgery for cataracts is said to be rather simple and successful.
a complete list of things, usually arranged systematically
A catalogue derives from the root "cata-" because items in a catalogue are presented as a list, a sort of "falling" structure. The root "-logue," ("dialogue," "monologue,) means "to say."
a collection of things sharing a common attribute
You'll often hear the expression that items "fall" into a particular
category. This expression is a throwback to the etymology of "
category," as having to do with falling.
a small waterfall or series of small waterfalls
delays held up flights at some of nation’s busiest airports, including New York, Baltimore and Washington.
Time (Apr 28, 2013)
Although the word "cascade," literally refers to a series of small, related waterfalls, the word is often used metaphorically for any series of events where one thing rapidly falls upon another. If you've ever been in an airport in poor flying weather, you'll see delays and cancellations falling one after another on the posted list of flights.
a recurrent rhythmical series
If you think about rhythm, how it is a pattern of rising and falling tones, you'll get the connection between the word "cadence" and its meaning. Although the word is often applied to sounds of speech and music, as in the example sentence, "cadence" also refers to a marching rhythm.
Othello opened at the Olivier Theatre on Tuesday -
with Shakespeare's 23 April birthday.
BBC (Apr 24, 2013)
With the prefix "co-" meaning "together," and "-cide" meaning "to fall," it is clear to see that the word "coincide" means "falling together." Events are "coincidental" when they "coincide," creating a "coincidence."
the killing of a human being by another human being
The word "homicide" has many brothers, including "fratricide" (the killing of one's brother), "patricide," (the killing of one's father), "matricide," (the killing of one's mother), "regicide," (the killing of one's king), and "suicide" (the killing of oneself). There's also "insecticide," "herbicide," and "pesticide."
marked by excessive self-indulgence and moral decay
Barking Frog pastry chef Matt Kelley will show you how to make some easy
desserts like chocolate passion fruit parfait at home.
Seattle Times (Feb 15, 2012)
With the prefix "de-" meaning, in this case, "down," and the root "cad-" meaning "to fall," it's clear to see how the word "decadent" connects overindulgence in sensory pleasures with a fall, either a physical fall (illness) or a fall from grace (sin).
an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
The word "catastrophe" consists of two roots, one Latin ("cata-," meaning "to fall,") and one Greek ("strophe-," meaning "a twist"). When catastrophe strikes, things do indeed twist themselves into a downward spiral. "Disaster" and "calamity" are synonyms.
habitual relapse into crime
With the prefix "re-" meaning "again," and the root "cid-" meaning "to fall," it's clear to see how the word "recidivism" refers to the "re-falling" into crime of a felon after having served time in prison.
hurl as if with a sling
The word "catapult" is etymologically ironic because it refers to going forward with force rather than falling, as its root "cata-" would imply. Although a "catapult," used as a noun, is the word for an actual weapon, and although the verb "catapult,"
means hurled by some sort of slinging device, the word "catapult" is often used metaphorically, as it is in the example sentence, where it means "propelled forward at a stunning pace." We often refer to a person's career as catapulting, if successf