free fall


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free fall

1. A vertical descent of a physical body in which gravity is the only force acting upon it. If they were in true free fall, a feather and a bowling ball would both fall to the ground at the same rate.
2. In a parachute jump, the period of vertical descent leading up to and immediately before the parachute is opened. I get such a rush from the free fall when I skydive that I often wish I didn't have to open my chute at all!
3. By extension of def. 1, any sudden, rapid, and uncontrollable decline (e.g., in value, reputation, success, etc.) that continues unabated for an indefinite length of time. The stock market went into a free fall after the housing market collapsed. After getting busted by the police for using marijuana last year, John's life has been in a free fall.
See also: fall, free

free fall

A rapid, uncontrolled decline, as in The markets threatened to go into free fall and we came close to outright panic. This term transfers the aeronautical meaning of a free fall, that is, "a fall through the air without any impedance, such as a parachute," to other kinds of precipitous drop. [Second half of 1900s]
See also: fall, free
References in periodicals archive ?
A frequency range of a few Hz to [approximately equal to]10 MHz results during a free fall of [approximately equal to]0.
With Free Fall Savings, customers can take advantage of additional cost savings on performance and backup upgrades, backed by The Planet's world-class data centers and network.
Unlike bungee jumping which involves jumpers hoping up and down after each jump, the dream jump patented system provides jumpers with a longer free fall and with a landing very similar to that of a base jump without a parachute.
While the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walter's Art Museum are permanently free, Free Fall Baltimore provides the opportunity for everyone to enjoy the city's arts and culture community at no cost.
And in her free fall through four interconnected and highly charged dances presented at the Ohio Theater, the most affecting moments were her solos, Baby Tomb and Empty Tomb.
That's because scientists had previously arranged for the probe to send a truncated version of the data collected during its 70-minute Jovian free fall to the parent craft's computer.
Despite the free fall of investment values in Mexico last year, 5% of everyone's portfolio should contain an emerging market holding," says Steven Sanders, principal of Sanders Investment Advisors in Philadelphia.
While in motion, was there some point of free fall at which samples could be taken?
Somehow this seems like a lost opportunity--aided and abetted by an exhibition and an accompanying monograph that do not really address the issue at all--not only to rethink the ways that the language of photography was actually formed in a particular historical context, but also to shed our own historical skins, if only for the time it takes to look at these remarkable photographs and to plunge into the intellectual free fall of anonymous creation.
Last week in an article published on September 26, 2006, the Boston Globe reported Boston residential sales volume was in a free fall and price declines were showing greater momentum.
I keep saying this, I don't know if it makes sense or no but don't fall in love, free fall in love.
Dubai, Dec 12 (ONA) The National Free Fall Team of the Sultan of Oman Parachutes at the Royal Army of Oman (RAO) took part in the World Free Fall Championship (Dubai 2012), which was held at Sky Dive in Dubai during November 28th till December 9th.
1 /PRNewswire/ -- Now you too can experience the heart pounding adventure of the new thriller "Eagle Eye" with a unique 10-minute interactive game: Eagle Eye Free Fall.
WASHINGTON -- Crude-oil futures briefly dipped below $60 a barrel Monday, then jumped by more than $1 in a sign that the recent free fall might be nearing an end.
They simply plunge in a quick free fall, then flap their leathery wings to fly.