Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A cumulative effect produced when one event sets off a chain of similar events: the domino effect of increasing the speed limit in one of several contiguous states.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The situation in which one event sets off a chain of additional events.
  • n. The theory that, if South Vietnam fell to Communism, it would be followed by Cambodia, Laos, and additional South Asian countries.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the consequence of one event setting off a chain of similar events (like a falling domino causing a whole row of upended dominos to fall)

Etymologies

From the fact that a row of dominoes stood on end will fall in succession if the first one is knocked over.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
An allusion to a row of dominoes in which the fall of one leads to a cascade of falling pieces (Wiktionary)

Examples

Sorry, no example sentences found.

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Here is the news .....
    The world's longest palindrome was recorded recently when every son and daughter on the planet called, one after another, for their mother.

    February 1, 2008