Autumn vs. Fall

Main Difference

The main difference between the interchangeable terms autumn and fall is that the autumn is seen more in British English and fall is seen more in American English.

Autumn vs. Fall — Is There a Difference?
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Difference Between Autumn and Fall

Autumn vs. Fall

Autumn came to the English language from the French “Automne” in the 15th or 16th century whereas the word "fall" originates in English in the 16th century or earlier from the Old English word “feallan” which means "to fall or to die."

Autumn vs. Fall

Autumn is seen more in British English on the flip side fall is seen more in American English.

Autumn vs. Fall

The word autumn is used in more formal contexts. Conversely, the word fall has an informal context.

Autumn vs. Fall

Australian writers seem to favor the word autumn; on the other hand, Canadian writers seem to favor the word fall.

Autumnnoun

Traditionally the third of the four seasons, when deciduous trees lose their leaves; typically regarded as being from September 24 to December 22 in parts of the Northern Hemisphere, and the months of March, April and May in the Southern Hemisphere.

Fallnoun

The act of moving to a lower position under the effect of gravity.

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Autumnnoun

The time period when someone or something is past its prime.

Fallnoun

A reduction in quantity, pitch, etc.

Autumnnoun

(fashion) A person with relatively dark hair and a warm skin tone, seen as best suited to certain colours in clothing.

Fallnoun

The time of the year when the leaves typically fall from the trees; autumn; the season of the year between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice.

Autumnadjective

Of or relating to autumn; autumnal

autumn leaves

Fallnoun

A loss of greatness or status.

the fall of Rome
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Autumnnoun

the season when the leaves fall from the trees;

in the fall of 1973

Fallnoun

That which falls or cascades.

Fallnoun

(sport) A crucial event or circumstance.

Fallnoun

The action of a batsman being out.

Fallnoun

(curling) A defect in the ice which causes stones thrown into an area to drift in a given direction.

Fallnoun

(wrestling) An instance of a wrestler being pinned to the mat.

Fallnoun

A hairpiece for women consisting of long strands of hair on a woven backing, intended primarily to cover hair loss.

Fallnoun

Blame or punishment for a failure or misdeed.

He set up his rival to take the fall.

Fallnoun

The part of the rope of a tackle to which the power is applied in hoisting (usu. plural).

Have the goodness to secure the falls of the mizzen halyards.

Fallnoun

See falls

Fallnoun

An old Scots unit of measure equal to six ells.

Fallnoun

A short, flexible piece of leather forming part of a bullwhip, placed between the thong and the cracker.

Fallverb

To move downwards.

Fallverb

To move to a lower position under the effect of gravity.

Thrown from a cliff, the stone fell 100 feet before hitting the ground.

Fallverb

To come down, to drop or descend.

The rain fell at dawn.

Fallverb

To come to the ground deliberately, to prostrate oneself.

He fell to the floor and begged for mercy.

Fallverb

To be brought to the ground.

Fallverb

(transitive) To be moved downwards.

Fallverb

(obsolete) To let fall; to drop.

Fallverb

(obsolete) To sink; to depress.

to fall the voice

Fallverb

To fell; to cut down.

to fall a tree

Fallverb

(intransitive) To happen, to change negatively.

Fallverb

(copulative) To become.

She has fallen ill.The children fell asleep in the back of the car.When did you first fall in love?

Fallverb

To occur (on a certain day of the week, date, or similar); said of an instance of a recurring event such as a holiday or date.

Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday.Last year, Commencement fell on June 3.

Fallverb

(intransitive) To collapse; to be overthrown or defeated.

Rome fell to the Goths in 410 AD.

Fallverb

To die, especially in battle or by disease.

This is a monument to all those who fell in the First World War.

Fallverb

(intransitive) To become lower (in quantity, pitch, etc.).

The candidate's poll ratings fell abruptly after the banking scandal.

Fallverb

(followed by a determining word or phrase) To become; to be affected by or befallen with a calamity; to change into the state described by words following; to become prostrated literally or figuratively Usage notes]] below.

Our senator fell into disrepute because of the banking scandal.

Fallverb

(transitive) To be allotted to; to arrive through chance, fate, or inheritance.

And so it falls to me to make this important decision.The estate fell to his brother; the kingdom fell into the hands of his rivals.

Fallverb

To diminish; to lessen or lower.

Fallverb

To bring forth.

to fall lambs

Fallverb

To issue forth into life; to be brought forth; said of the young of certain animals.

Fallverb

(intransitive) To descend in character or reputation; to become degraded; to sink into vice, error, or sin.

Fallverb

(intransitive) To become ensnared or entrapped; to be worse off than before.

to fall into error;to fall into difficulties

Fallverb

(intransitive) To assume a look of shame or disappointment; to become or appear dejected; said of the face.

Fallverb

(intransitive) To happen; to come to pass; to chance or light (upon).

Fallverb

(intransitive) To begin with haste, ardour, or vehemence; to rush or hurry.

After arguing, they fell to blows.

Fallverb

(intransitive) To be dropped or uttered carelessly.

An unguarded expression fell from his lips.

Fallnoun

the season when the leaves fall from the trees;

in the fall of 1973

Fallnoun

a sudden drop from an upright position;

he had a nasty spill on the ice

Fallnoun

the lapse of mankind into sinfulness because of the sin of Adam and Eve;

women have been blamed ever since the Fall

Fallnoun

a downward slope or bend

Fallnoun

a lapse into sin; a loss of innocence or of chastity;

a fall from virtue

Fallnoun

a sudden decline in strength or number or importance;

the fall of the House of Hapsburg

Fallnoun

a movement downward;

the rise and fall of the tides

Fallnoun

the act of surrendering (under agreed conditions);

they were protected until the capitulation of the fort

Fallnoun

the time of day immediately following sunset;

he loved the twilightthey finished before the fall of night

Fallnoun

when a wrestler's shoulders are forced to the mat

Fallnoun

a free and rapid descent by the force of gravity;

it was a miracle that he survived the drop from that height

Fallnoun

a sudden sharp decrease in some quantity;

a drop of 57 points on the Dow Jones indexthere was a drop in pressure in the pulmonary arterya dip in priceswhen that became known the price of their stock went into free fall

Fallverb

descend in free fall under the influence of gravity;

The branch fell from the treeThe unfortunate hiker fell into a crevasse

Fallverb

move downward and lower, but not necessarily all the way;

The temperature is going downThe barometer is fallingThe curtain fell on the divaHer hand went up and then fell again

Fallverb

pass suddenly and passively into a state of body or mind;

fall into a trapShe fell illThey fell out of favorFall in lovefall asleepfall prey to an imposterfall into a strange way of thinkingshe fell to pieces after she lost her work

Fallverb

come under, be classified or included;

fall into a categoryThis comes under a new heading

Fallverb

fall from clouds;

rain, snow and sleet were fallingVesuvius precipitated its fiery, destructive rage on Herculaneum

Fallverb

suffer defeat, failure, or ruin;

We must stand or fallfall by the wayside

Fallverb

decrease in size, extent, or range;

The amount of homework decreased towards the end of the semesterThe cabin pressure fell dramaticallyher weight fall to under a hundred poundshis voice fell to a whisper

Fallverb

die, as in battle or in a hunt;

Many soldiers fell at VerdunSeveral deer have fallen to the same gunThe shooting victim fell dead

Fallverb

touch or seem as if touching visually or audibly;

Light fell on her faceThe sun shone on the fieldsThe light struck the golden necklaceA strange sound struck my ears

Fallverb

be captured;

The cities fell to the enemy

Fallverb

occur at a specified time or place;

Christmas falls on a Monday this yearThe accent falls on the first syllable

Fallverb

yield to temptation or sin;

Adam and Eve fell

Fallverb

lose office or power;

The government fell overnightThe Qing Dynasty fell with Sun Yat-sen

Fallverb

to be given by assignment or distribution;

The most difficult task fell on the youngest member of the teamThe onus fell on usThe pressure to succeed fell on the yougest student

Fallverb

move in a specified direction;

The line of men fall forward

Fallverb

be due;

payments fall on the 1st of the month

Fallverb

lose one's chastity;

a fallen woman

Fallverb

to be given by right or inheritance;

The estate fell to the oldest daughter

Fallverb

come into the possession of;

The house accrued to the oldest son

Fallverb

fall to somebody by assignment or lot;

The task fell to meIt fell to me to notify the parents of the victims

Fallverb

be inherited by;

The estate fell to my sisterThe land returned to the familyThe estate devolved to an heir that everybody had assumed to be dead

Fallverb

slope downward;

The hills around here fall towards the ocean

Fallverb

lose an upright position suddenly;

The vase fell over and the water spilled onto the tableHer hair fell across her forehead

Fallverb

drop oneself to a lower or less erect position;

She fell back in her chairHe fell to his knees

Fallverb

fall or flow in a certain way;

This dress hangs wellHer long black hair flowed down her back

Fallverb

assume a disappointed or sad expression;

Her face fell when she heard that she would be laid offhis crest fell

Fallverb

be cast down;

his eyes fell

Fallverb

come out; issue;

silly phrases fell from her mouth

Fallverb

be born, used chiefly of lambs;

The lambs fell in the afternoon

Fallverb

begin vigorously;

The prisoners fell to work right away

Fallverb

go as if by falling;

Grief fell from our hearts

Fallverb

come as if by falling;

Night fellSilence fell

Comparison Chart

AutumnFall
A formal name for the falling season that follows summerAn informal name for the falling season that follows summer
Context
FormalInformal
Origin
14th century16th century
Use
British EnglishAmerican English
Other Users
AustraliansCanadian

Autumn vs. Fall

Autumn and fall are interchangeable words in most contexts. Autumn and fall are both accepted words and widely used terms for the season that comes between summer and winter. Autumn and fall both refer to the season that follows summer. Sometimes, the other word autumn is preferred or sometimes the word fall however today, both these words are accepted in the context of the seasons. Autumn is a noun. It directs a season that occurs between summer and winter. Fall is an old term for the same season. But the word autumn is used in more formal contexts; hence, it is more formal than fall. Autumn is used as a feminine name. It functions as a proper noun and is always be capitalized. It is an old word originating in Latin and carried through to modern use through Middle English. The word autumn was first recorded in its current form in the 14th century. The word fall originates in English in the 16th century or earlier. The word autumn came to the English language from the French “Automne” in the 15th or 16th century, but it did not gain prominence by the end of the 18th century. ‘Fall’ became the preferred term in the U.S. ‘Autumn’ became a prevalent term in British English. After the prominence and excessive use of the word, “autumn” fall was eventually considered archaic for the season. But language is a thing that is always changing. This state did not remain constant as there too was a time when the term fall gained the ground among the British for some time.

What is Autumn?

Autumn refers to the season in which the leaves of the trees fell. Autumn follows the summer season. The word autumn came to English from the French ‘Automne’ in the 15th or 16th century. But it did not gain any popularity and prominence until the 18th century. Autumn is a noun. The word autumn is used in more formal contexts; hence, it is a formal word. Autumn is used as a feminine name. It functions as a proper noun, and therefore, it is always be capitalized. It is an old word originating in Latin and carried through to modern use through Middle English. The word autumn was first recorded in its current form in the 14th century. Autumn word came into common usage about the same time as Fall did. The English who stayed home adopted the word Autumn. In U.S. English “Autumn” sounds archaic and poetic. Also, the Australian writers favor autumn by a significant margin. American writers use both fall and autumn, mostly depending on which sounds better. There is a little preference for autumn in British English. Autumn is the more formal word for the falling season.

Examples

  • John goes into the woods every autumn and draws maple syrup from the old trees.
  • In the Northern Hemisphere, autumn is a season of falling temperatures and brightly colored leaves.
  • In the autumn, the goats spend most of their time grazing the treetops, when there is little food on the ground.

What is Fall?

The word “fall” came from the Old English word “feallan,” which means “to die or to fall.” This phrase was shortened eventually to fall. The names for the season did not just end with autumn. Poets introduced the phrase “the fall of the leaves” that came to be associated with the season. This phrase was shortened in the 1600s to fall. Today, American English uses the word “fall.” However, this term fall or this season is an informal one. Moreover, Fall is a very old word. It has been used to describe the autumn season for several centuries. It was derived from a verb, and now it is considered as a noun to name a season. Fall also has several other meanings. Many of them mean to slip or to drop. It is very rare for British speaker to use the word fall instead of the word autumn. The people in the UK largely use the word fall.

Examples

  • This fall, John will be in 11th grade.
  • Ellie started a new job last fall as a manager of a construction company.
  • I am off to London for some business purpose and will stay there till the next fall.
Conclusion

In the context of seasons, the names autumn and fall are more or less interchangeable. Both words are accepted and used in different communities.