fall on(to) (someone or something)(redirected from falls on somebody)
fall on(to) (someone or something)
1. To drop onto someone or something. Aw man, that picture fell on the floor, and the frame broke. Tommy slipped off the branch of the tree and fell onto his brother below.
2. To strike or attack someone or something. We advanced and fell onto the enemy troops. Jacob fell on the man with a series of blows to his face.
3. To experience something. When I lost my job, I really fell on hard times financially.
4. To become someone's task or responsibility. My husband's been away all week, so all of the household chores have fallen onto me.
5. To unexpectedly find or realize something. Once I stopped obsessing about the problem, I was able to fall on a solution right away.
6. To occur on a particular day or date. (In this usage, only "fall on" can be used.) Easter falls on the 12th of April this year. The final exam fell right on my birthday, so I wasn't exactly able to spend the whole day celebrating.
7. To be received with some reaction, especially one of disinterest, dismissal, or inaction. (Usually used in the phrase "fall on(to) deaf ears," or something similar.) They hold their protest outside the facility every weekend, even though they know their words are likely falling onto deaf ears. I could tell our presentation was falling on disinterested eyes.
See also: fall
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
fall (up)on someone or something
1. to collapse on top of someone or something. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) The bridge fell upon a boat passing beneath it. A small branch fell on Jerry as he passed beneath the tree.
2. to attack someone or something. The cat fell upon the mouse and killed it. The children fell on the birthday cake and ate it all.
fall (up)on someone
[for a task] to become the duty of someone. The task of telling Mother about the broken vase fell upon Jane. The job of cleaning up the spill fell upon Tom.
fall on(to) someone or something
to collapse toward or onto someone or something. The fence fell onto the car, denting it severely. The branch fell on David.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Also, fall upon.
1. Attack suddenly and viciously, as in They fell on the guards and overpowered them. [c. 1400]
2. Meet with, encounter, as in They fell on hard times. [Late 1500s]
3. Find by chance, discover, as in We fell upon the idea last Saturday night. [Mid-1600s]
4. Be the responsibility or duty of someone, as in It fell on Clara to support the entire family. [Mid-1800s] Also see the subsequent idioms beginning with fall on.
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.
fall onor fall upon
1. To drop or descend from one location to a lower one: My coat got dirty when it fell on the muddy floor. The leaves fell upon the ground underneath the tree.
2. To occur at some particular point in time: My birthday falls on a Thursday this year. Their anniversary falls upon a Saturday this year.
3. To be passed on to someone, especially as a responsibility or burden: It falls on me now to maintain order here. It fell upon the president to solve the crisis.
4. To attack or beset someone or something suddenly and intensely: Insurgent forces fell on the unlucky patrol. A massive hurricane fell upon the coastal town.
5. To experience or enter into something, especially a negative state of affairs: The stockbrokers made a lot of money for a while, but fell on hard times during the recession. After he lost his job, he fell upon a difficult period.
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.