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

domino theory

1. The political theory that, if one country or area adopts communism, then the surrounding ones will as well. The domino theory was a major concern as the Soviet Union expanded its power after World War II.
2. By extension, the idea that an event in one country will result in similar events in the surrounding countries. The string of revolutions that occurred in neighboring countries during the Arab Spring was a great example of domino theory in action.
See also: domino, theory
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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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.
If the disturbances in Syria reach the point of country's breakup, or terrorist forces control Syria, or if the two cases happen, then this will immediately spill over into neighbouring countries first, and later there will be a domino effect that will reach countries across the Middle East, he added.
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.
"Any change of the borders would cause a domino effect in the region.
Because we would soon have a domino effect," said the chancellor.
A senior Labour source said: "Wendy was about to stand down in November but was warned that her resignation could have a domino effect on Labour in London.
Fears the demolitions could start a domino effect with more homes being knocked down were voiced by resident Peter Nolan.
If one Scottish club folds, there will be a domino effect.
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.
"if we change the ages of the fossils from east Greenland, that will trigger a domino effect on many other places because a lot of evolution has been defined by this area." Hartz and his colleagues describe their work in the August Geology.
"Whatever happens to Social Security will have a domino effect on employers and individuals," said David M.
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." The poll also found that more than three in five were not insured against clients defaulting on their payments.
"In New York, it's such a tight market, that if a tenant holds over in its space it has a domino effect on a lot of other parties," Jadwin said.
Any new finding about the behavior of neutrinos could have a domino effect in many branches of particle physics.