downfall

A downfall is a sudden drop in status or strength. You might be winning at Monopoly until your opponents decide to team up against you, which leads to your downfall.

Poor political decisions can result in the downfall of a government or party, and an economic depression can lead to the downfall of businesses and banks. A more literal, but less common, kind of downfall is when rain or snow falls down to the ground: "The downfall of snow will make the roads slippery tonight." The "decline in strength" meaning has been in use since the 14th century.

Definitions of downfall
  1. noun
    a sudden decline in strength or number or importance
    synonyms: fall
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    Antonyms:
    rise
    a growth in strength or number or importance
    types:
    anticlimax
    a disappointing decline after a previous rise
    type of:
    weakening
    becoming weaker
  2. noun
    failure that results in a loss of position or reputation
    synonyms: ruin, ruination
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    types:
    finish
    the downfall of someone (as of persons on one side of a conflict)
    type of:
    failure
    an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose
  3. noun
    the falling to earth of any form of water (rain or snow or hail or sleet or mist)
    synonyms: precipitation
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    types:
    show 13 types...
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    fine spray
    precipitation in very small drops
    hail
    precipitation of ice pellets when there are strong rising air currents
    rain, rainfall
    water falling in drops from vapor condensed in the atmosphere
    sleet
    partially melted snow (or a mixture of rain and snow)
    snow, snowfall
    precipitation falling from clouds in the form of ice crystals
    virga
    light wispy precipitation that evaporates before it reaches the ground (especially when the lower air is low in humidity)
    rainstorm
    a storm with rain
    cloudburst, deluge, downpour, pelter, soaker, torrent, waterspout
    a heavy rain
    drizzle, mizzle
    very light rain; stronger than mist but less than a shower
    rain shower, shower
    a brief period of precipitation
    flurry, snow flurry
    a light brief snowfall and gust of wind (or something resembling that)
    whiteout
    an arctic atmospheric condition with clouds over snow produce a uniform whiteness and objects are difficult to see; occurs when the light reflected off the snow equals the light coming through the clouds
    monsoon
    heavy rains accompanied by wind, typical of the rainy season in southern Asia
    type of:
    atmospheric condition, conditions, weather, weather condition
    the atmospheric conditions that comprise the state of the atmosphere in terms of temperature and wind and clouds and precipitation
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