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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 Domino press serves as complementary technology to existing flexo-based label printing and provides increased capacity.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), a United States-based automaker, has collaborated with Dominos to provide a new pizza-ordering app for vehicles equipped with its Sync AppLink infotainment system.
London, Aug 28 ( ANI ): Domino enthusiasts from Germany demolished 125,000 little bricks - setting three Guinness World Records.
HERE'S a great offer from Domino's Pizza guaranteed to turn those winter blues into Woo Hoos!
I thought it would be interesting to leave the exact arrangement of dominos unsolved and ask readers to write in with their own solutions.
Release date- 20082019 - ANN ARBOR, Mich.- Domino's Pizza (NYSE: DPZ), the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales, has spent years focused on cutting-edge technology created and built largely by teams at its World Resource Center in Ann Arbor.
Three-time-winner of Domino's Fastest Pizza Maker in Europe, Zagros Jaff who has been with Domino's for over 10 years, competed alongside best pizza chefs from across the continent to bag the title.
and EU countries, which could make it harder for companies such as Domino's to get the products they need. 
The company added that the 50% off deal is only available on menu-priced pizzas ordered through Domino's digital ordering channels which include Domino's website (, and the iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 8 and Kindle Fire apps.
A representative from Domino Foods will be featured on All Mixed Up as one of the panel judges who will share the company's history, reveal what product the students will be using, and offer food related expertise to the aspiring chefs and viewers at home.
TO bring a little much needed sunshine into your life Domino's Pizza - the pizza delivery expert - has teamed up with Aberdeen Now to offer readers an exclusive two for one deal on its tasty pizzas for collection.
Following phenomenal demand from pizza lovers, Domino's Pizza, the pizza delivery expert, has launched Domino's Stuffed Crust.
WE'VE teamed up with Domino's Pizza to celebrate 20 years of business in Ireland and to bring you a pizza the action.
25 -- Quasar- a full service online digital marketing services agency is now the preferred online partner for Domino's Pizza India Ltd.