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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

fall like dominoes

To fall sequentially. This phrase can be used to describe the physical collapse of something or the defeat of something. If that building collapses, the others around it will fall like dominoes. This movie has been so successful that it's causing box office records to fall like dominoes.
See also: domino, fall, like
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

fall like dominoes

If things fall like dominoes, they are damaged, destroyed or defeated quickly, one after the other. Since he came into the sport, the records have fallen like dominoes. Cities fell like dominoes to the rebels. Note: Other verbs, such as collapse or topple are sometimes used instead of fall. Inflation got out of control and banks started collapsing like dominoes.
See also: domino, fall, like
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012


n. a one-hundred-dollar bill. How many dominos is that going to cost?
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The new 33,000-square-foot, two-story building has an open-concept design space for 150 Domino's team members, collaboration workspaces, private meeting rooms and a fully-functioning pizza theater.
The trophy will be on display at Domino's Portsmouth Fratto branch where Jaff trained and perfected his skills for over 10 years.
Joining as a service manager, and later becoming general manager within the UK domestic business, Pulford's other roles at Domino have included group product management, group marketing and GM of Domino's European businesses, as well as leading the new product development program for Domino's i-Tech products, and the integration of a number of acquisitions.
Inside the Domino demo and training facility you'll find world-class systems.
"At Domino's, we're committed to helping people develop the lifelong skills needed to lead a team.
When Domino's came up with the service in Australia in 2015, the company claimed the technology could enhance the safety of its deliverers.
Domino would be a huge influence on rockers who came after him -- John Lennon told a New York radio station that "Ain't That a Shame" was the first song he learned to play -- but his prominence began to wane after the British invasion and other forms of rock took root in the 1960s.
Then, by making use of the Domino Effect concept, the author lays out what is likely to happen next.
The company holds the exclusive master franchise rights for the US-based Domino's brand in the UK and ROI, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.
"There has never been a better time to join the Domino's family and we're now on the hunt for 10,000 ambitious people to join our fun and diverse team."
Two alternative types of domino sets available include: Bug Trails, which is described as a nonstandard domino game; and Bendominoes which is definitely a game with a twist.
In the spot entitled "Dominoes," which features a live, crowd-sourced experiment that illustrates the power small investments can have on retirement, a 30-foot tall domino stone, starting with a normal-size domino, is toppled to convey the long-term outcome of consistent retirement investing.
Domino's delivers more than 1 million pizzas a day from 10,988 stores in 70-plus countries around the world.
STAFF at a Domino's Pizza branch have been caught buying Aldi potato wedges to sell at a massive mark-up.
Port Jefferson, NY, March 08, 2014 --( Domino Plastics Company Inc, the industry leader in plastic scrap brokering, announces its 20th anniversary.