Fallout is the cloud of radioactive material that falls from the sky after a nuclear blast. Fear of the effects of fallout is just one reason some people are nervous about nuclear energy.

Nuclear fallout settles on the ground and in the atmosphere after a nuclear bomb explodes or a reaction occurs at a damaged nuclear power plant. The dangers of this kind of fallout are enormous, including immediate death and long-term illness caused by breathing and eating the radioactive dust. Another kind of fallout is more figurative — it's any kind of negative effect or result, like the fallout from telling your family you're getting an enormous tattoo.

Definitions of fallout
  1. noun
    the radioactive particles that settle to the ground after a nuclear explosion
    synonyms: radioactive dust
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    type of:
    fine powdery material such as dry earth or pollen that can be blown about in the air
  2. noun
    any adverse and unwanted secondary effect
    “a strategy to contain the fallout from the accounting scandal”
    synonyms: side effect
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    type of:
    consequence, effect, event, issue, outcome, result, upshot
    a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon
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