fell

Something that has been felled has been brought down, like a tree that has been felled by a powerful storm.

The word fell wears many hats in addition to being the past tense of fall. As a noun, a fell can be a stitching on the hem of a piece of clothing like pants, or an animal skin that has the fur intact. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the character MacDuff is stricken when he learns that his family has been killed “in one fell swoop.” Here the adjective fell means "vicious and cruel."

Primary Meanings of fell

1.
vn
cause to fall by or as if by delivering a blow
the act of felling something (as a tree)
2.
adj
(of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering
3.
vn
sew a seam by folding the edges
seam made by turning under or folding together and stitching the seamed materials to avoid rough edges
4.
v
pass away rapidly
5.
n
the dressed skin of an animal (especially a large animal)
Full Definitions of fell
1

v cause to fall by or as if by delivering a blow

Synonyms:
cut down, drop, strike down
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
chop down
cut down
poleax, poleaxe
fell with or as if with a poleax
log, lumber
cut lumber, as in woods and forests
cut
fell by sawing; hew
Type of:
cut
separate with or as if with an instrument

n the act of felling something (as a tree)

Type of:
kill, killing, putting to death
the act of terminating a life
2

adj (of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering

Synonyms:
barbarous, brutal, cruel, roughshod, savage, vicious
inhumane
lacking and reflecting lack of pity or compassion
3

v sew a seam by folding the edges

Type of:
run up, sew, sew together, stitch
fasten by sewing; do needlework

n seam made by turning under or folding together and stitching the seamed materials to avoid rough edges

Synonyms:
felled seam
Type of:
seam
joint consisting of a line formed by joining two pieces
4

v pass away rapidly

Synonyms:
fly, vanish
fly, vanish, vaporize
decrease rapidly and disappear
Type of:
elapse, glide by, go along, go by, lapse, pass, slide by, slip away, slip by
pass by
5

n the dressed skin of an animal (especially a large animal)

Synonyms:
hide
Types:
cowhide
the hide of a cow
goatskin
the hide of a goat
rawhide
untanned hide especially of cattle; cut in strips it is used for whips and ropes
Type of:
animal skin
the outer covering of an animal

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.