freefall

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

go into free fall

To experience a 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 free fall after the housing market collapsed. After getting busted by the police last year, John's life has gone into 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

go into freefall

JOURNALISM
COMMON If the value or level of something goes into freefall, it starts to fall very quickly. A massive £8bn was wiped off values, and the pound went into freefall. Fears are now widespread that shares could go into freefall before Christmas. Note: You can also say that the value or level of something is in freefall. Perot's ratings were in freefall, his election campaign a disaster. Note: You can also say that the value or level of something freefalls. His career seemed about to freefall into oblivion. Note: In parachuting, freefall is the part of the jump before the parachute opens.
See also: freefall

be in/go into ˌfree ˈfall

be falling/start to fall rapidly: Share prices are in free fall in Tokyo this morning.The value of the euro against the dollar went into free fall as soon as the news was announced.
From the moment you jump out of a plane until the moment your parachute opens, you are in free fall.
See also: fall, free
References in periodicals archive ?
They jumped from 15,000ft, which is the highest possible tandem jump altitude in the UK and meant almost a full minute of freefall.
Petrofacs Training Services business celebrated the 2,000th launch of its industry-leading freefall lifeboat in Aberdeen this week.
Writing Without a Parachute: The Art of Freefall comes from a writing teacher who shares the method she's used for almost 30 years to help hundreds of writers publish their works.
Writing Without a Parachute: The Art of Freefall" by published author and Freefall Writing Workshop teacher Barbara Turner-Vesselago shows both beginning and experienced writers how to get the thinking mind to step aside, so that writing becomes truly creative--a vulnerable and open-hearted engagement with the moment.
In this new book she explores the subsequent process of using Freefall in a more intentional way within a genre (fiction, memoir, and poetry) and reflects her best understanding of how to bring what we know to the service of our writing.
The green light for the freefall Para-drops came after highly secret military tests cleared high-altitude freefall attacks from the RAF's massive C-17 transport planes.
M2 EQUITYBITES-April 29, 2016-Sacunas Acquires Marketing Agency Freefall
A RETIRED Coventry school teacher has raised thousands of pounds in a 14,000ft freefall tandem parachute jump.
Dyani is a world record holder for performing a freefall on a skateboard into a 30.
TO help celebrate their 20th birthday, St Kentigern Hospice is looking for 20 brave individuals to leap out of an aeroplane in a 10,000 feet freefall skydive.
MEMS accelerometers can output different kinds of interrupt signals like data ready, freefall, portrait/landscape, single-click/double-click, and impact detection, etc.
In order to work, the system needs a sensor or sensor array that can detect when a device is in freefall and how it is positioned relative to the ground, Apple Insider reports.
Summary: Alex Brenner attempts the world's shortest freefall on The Conan Show.
His astonishing feat saw him freefall for four minutes and 22 seconds from a height of more than 24 miles above Roswell in New Mexico.