a domino effect

domino effect

A phenomenon in which an initial event causes a series of other related events to occur, much like the sequence seen in toppling dominos; a chain reaction. The convenience store's decision to stop selling tobacco products caused a domino effect throughout the industry, leading other chains to quickly follow suit. When I took one book out of the bookcase, it caused a domino effect, causing all of the others to topple over.
See also: domino, effect

a domino effect

COMMON A domino effect is a situation where one event causes a series of similar events. The accident created a domino effect, causing about 10 other bikes to crash and injuring 14 other people. Unused houses deteriorate rapidly, affecting the value of nearby homes; in a domino effect, the entire neighborhood can easily fall victim. Note: This expression was first used in the 1950s by an American political commentator to describe what some people thought would happen if one country in a region became Communist: they believed that the other countries in that area would also `fall' to the Communists. The image is of a row of upright dominoes (= small, rectangular games pieces with different numbers of dots on them); if one falls, it knocks the next one over and so on, until all of them have fallen over.
See also: domino, effect
References in periodicals archive ?
He said: "The driver hit another car, which then hit five others in a domino effect.
It could trigger a domino effect of uncertainty with the result that the readiness of private investors to invest in the eurozone again fall to nothing," she said.
Agnelli said a domino effect could result if John Kerry is appointed by President Obama to one of the cabinet positions that are already open or will open in January at the beginning of the president's new four-year term.
The collapse of Greece and its exit from the euro would have a domino effect, she told German radio.
Because we would soon have a domino effect," said the chancellor.
Clausen's decision likely will have a domino effect across the country.
Industry after industry is reporting lower sales and, in turn, placing fewer orders, impacting their suppliers in a domino effect that begins and ends with the American consumer.
That closure lead to a domino effect where many other businesses felt the impact of the K-Mart job losses.
David Thomson, chief executive of Close Invoice Finance, said: "Simply, this means one company's financial downfall can mean bad debt has a domino effect and will precipitate another business' collapse.
I strongly believe that California's lead in the area of fire proofing and fire retardants will have a domino effect throughout the country," added Owens.