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 ?
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.
It'll also have a domino effect at Oaks Christian, where at least seven other seniors are expected to accept Division I scholarships.
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.