Meaning of fell


Something that has been felled has been brought down, like a tree that has been felled by a powerful storm.

The word fell wears many hats in addition to being the past tense of fall. As a noun, a fell can be a stitching on the hem of a piece of clothing like pants, or an animal skin that has the fur intact. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the character MacDuff is stricken when he learns that his family has been killed “in one fell swoop.” Here the adjective fell means “vicious and cruel.”

Definitions of fell
  1. verb

    cause to fall by or as if by delivering a blow


    cut down, drop, strike down

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    chop down

    cut down
    poleax, poleaxe

    fell with or as if with a poleax
    log, lumber

    cut lumber, as in woods and forests

    fell by sawing; hew
    type of:


    separate with or as if with an instrument

  2. noun

    the act of felling something (as a tree)

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    type of:

    kill, killing, putting to death

    the act of terminating a life

  3. adjective

    (of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering


    barbarous, brutal, cruel, roughshod, savage, vicious


    lacking and reflecting lack of pity or compassion
  4. verb

    sew a seam by folding the edges

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    type of:

    run up, sew, sew together, stitch

    fasten by sewing; do needlework

  5. noun

    seam made by turning under or folding together and stitching the seamed materials to avoid rough edges


    felled seam

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    type of:


    joint consisting of a line formed by joining two pieces

  6. verb

    pass away rapidly


    fly, vanish

    fly, vanish, vaporize

    decrease rapidly and disappear

  7. noun

    the dressed skin of an animal (especially a large animal)



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    the hide of a cow

    the hide of a goat

    untanned hide especially of cattle; cut in strips it is used for whips and ropes
    type of:

    animal skin

    the outer covering of an animal

Word Family

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