1. Literally, to drop or plummet into something. There are a lot of holes out there—be sure not to fall into any. We put up a fence around the pit so no one would accidentally fall in.
2. To collapse, crumble, or cave in. The firefighters were able to get those kids out of the house before the roof fell in.
3. To plop onto or into something. Sarah fell into the passenger seat with a dramatic sigh and proceeded to tell me all about the latest gossip at school.
4. To join a formation, as in the military. Troops, fall in!
5. To begin walking at the same pace as someone else. If you don't fall into step with us, you'll get left behind.
6. To begin to participate in something with others. How did you end up falling into a lecture with Grandpa about the Farmers' Almanac?
7. To be able to be easily grouped or categorized in a particular way. The types of arguments that my family have on Thanksgiving fall into two basic categories: food-related and sports-related.
8. To become organized in a particular way. There were a lot of missteps along the way, but all of our plans have finally fallen into place.
9. To experience a significant, usually unpleasant, change in one's mood or emotional state. I always fall into a depressive state during the winter months.
10. To experience a significant, usually unpleasant, change in state. The classroom fell into chaos as soon as the teacher stepped into the hallway.
11. To obtain something, typically unexpectedly or with little effort. When my grandfather died, I ended up falling into a lot of money.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
fall in (to something)
to drop into something. The rabbit fell into the hole and was trapped. It went right up to the hole and fell in.
fall in (to step)
to get into the same marching pattern as everyone else as regards which foot moves forward. (Everyone should be moving the same foot forward at the same time.) I just can't seem to fall into step. I am very uncoordinated. Fall in! March with the others!
to line up in a row, standing shoulder to shoulder. The Boy Scouts were told to fall in behind the leader. The soldiers fell in quickly.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Take one's place in formation or in the ranks, as in The sergeant ordered the troops to fall in. A related expression is fall into, as in They all fell into their places. [Early 1600s] Also see fall into.
2. Sink inward, cave in, as in The snow was so heavy that we feared the roof would fall in. [Early 1700s] Also see under drop in; the subsequent idioms beginning with fall in; fall into.
1. Enter or engage in, be drawn into, as in I told Dad not to fall into conversation with them. [Late 1400s]
2. See fall in, def. 1.
3. Be naturally divisible into, as in These students fall into three categories. [First half of 1600s]
4. fall into error or sin . Be drawn into bad behavior, as in I fell into error when I started spending time with the wrong crowd. This usage, like fall from grace, originally alluded to religious concerns. It is now used less often and more loosely. [Late 1100s]
5. fall into a trap. Be deceived, unknowingly become involved in something. For example, By admitting I had free time, I fell into the trap of having to help him with his work . Also see under fall in; fall in line; fall in place.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To take one's place in military formation, especially a line. Used of soldiers: The troops fell in immediately upon the command of their sergeant.
2. To sink inward; cave in: Under the weight of the snow, the roof of the old barn finally fell in.
3. fall in with To become associated with some group of people: They fell in with the wrong crowd and were eventually arrested for armed robbery.
1. To descend or drop freely or effortlessly into something: I was so tired that I went to my bedroom and fell into bed.
2. To come to assume a configuration, pattern, or order: The lines of text fell into neat rows. After a quick meeting, our plans fell into place.
3. To come upon, receive, or become involved with something, especially by chance: They fell into a lot of money unexpectedly, so they bought a new car.
4. To undergo a change of state or emotion, especially a negative change: I took one look at my class schedule and fell into a bad mood. The tenants complained when the apartment building fell into disrepair.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.