Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ



Dec 13, 2013
This week's theme
Words coined from body parts

This week's words
inoculate
palpable
cullet
skint
pratfall

This week's comments
AWADmail 598

Next week's theme
Verbs
Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

pratfall

PRONUNCIATION:
(PRAT-fawl)

MEANING:
noun: A humiliating failure, blunder, or defeat.

ETYMOLOGY:
A pratfall is literally a fall on the buttocks. The word is figuratively used to describe embarrassing errors or failures. From prat (buttocks, fool) + fall. Earliest documented use: 1939.

USAGE:
"Some caution that stockpiling is ending and both markets are in for a pratfall."
Ray Turchansky; Asian Consumers Likely Spend Us Out of Our Financial Mess; The Vancouver Sun (Canada); Aug 21, 2009.

See more usage examples of pratfall in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
What is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. The mere act of believing that some wrongful course of action constitutes an advantage is pernicious. -Marcus Tullius Cicero, statesman, orator, writer (106-43 BCE)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2018 Wordsmith