1. Fierce; cruel; lethal.
2. In the idiom, in one fell swoop (all at once, as if by a blow).
From Old French, variant of felon (wicked, a wicked person). Earliest documented use: Before 1300.
“So you spend most of the movie worried that Shepherd has some fell disease.”
Mary McNamara; A Ham-fisted Dish; Los Angeles Times; May 19, 2003.
“In one fell swoop, most of the top politicians of this impoverished West African country surrendered themselves to the cadre of junior officers.”
Jeffrey Gettleman; A Largely Welcomed Coup in Guinea; The New York Times; Dec 25, 2008.
1. To knock down, strike, or cut down.
2. To sew a seam by folding one rough edge under the other, flat, on the wrong side, as in jeans.
1. The amount of timber cut.
2. In sewing, a felled seam.
From Old English fellan/fyllan (to fall). Earliest documented use: Around 1000.
“The government has granted sanction to fell a tree to facilitate new construction.”
No Move to Lift Construction Ban in Green Belt; The Indian Express (New Delhi); Oct 13, 2010.
“I suppose that good-quality cloth and thread, rivets, and felled seams have something to do with it.”
Andrew Bevan and David Wengrow; Cultures of Commodity Branding; Left Coast Press; 2010.
noun: A stretch of open country in the highlands.
From Old Norse fjall/fell (hill). Earliest documented use: Before 1300.
“After a day spent tramping across the snowy fells of the Lake District National Park, a period of R and R is most definitely required.”
James White; Hotel Review; Daily Mail (London, UK); Jan 19, 2011.
noun: The skin or hide of an animal.
From Old English fel/fell (skin or hide). Ultimately from the Indo-European root pel- (skin or hide), which also gave us pelt, pillion, and film. Earliest documented use: Around 1000.
“Felt bearing pads are made from non-tanned fell.”
A.S.G. Bruggeling and G.F. Huyghe; Prefabrication with Concrete; Taylor & Francis; 1991.
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