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a waterfall descending over a steep, rocky surface.
a series of shallow or steplike waterfalls, either natural or artificial.
anything that resembles a waterfall, especially in seeming to flow or fall in abundance:
a cascade of roses covering the wall.
(in a drain or sewer) a chain of steps for dissipating the momentum of falling water in a steep place in order to maintain a steady rate of flow.
an arrangement of a lightweight fabric in folds falling one over another in random or zigzag fashion.
a type of firework resembling a waterfall in effect.
Chemistry. a series of vessels, from each of which a fluid successively overflows to the next, thus presenting a large absorbing surface, as to a gas.
Electricity. an arrangement of component devices, as electrolytic cells, each of which feeds into the next in succession.
Biochemistry. a series of reactions catalyzed by enzymes that are activated sequentially by successive products of the reactions, resulting in an amplification of the initial response.
to fall in or like a cascade.
to cause to fall in a cascade.
Electricity. to arrange (components) in a cascade.
Contemporary Examples

Undoubtedly, we can look forward to just such a cascade regarding part time employees.
Counting Full Time Employees Megan McArdle January 17, 2013

I know this from experience; I was a writer on an early example of a show to benefit from this cascade of affection.
Why My Show Must Succeed David A. Goodman October 24, 2011

It does not mean that what happens anywhere should always lead to a cascade effect.
Could Europe’s Economic Crisis Sink Us? Zachary Karabell September 12, 2011

Expect aurora borealis in the long foray but no cascade of light.
How Seamus Heaney Influenced Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey Natasha Trethewey September 2, 2013

I remember practicing that lick [from the solo “Round Midnight” recording] years ago, learning how to do that cascade effect.
Herbie Hancock Holds Forth David Yaffe November 7, 2014

Historical Examples

“Only just to show your honour O’Sullivan’s cascade,” was the reply.
The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Vol. 13, Issue 352, January 17, 1829 Various

The fifth, as brilliant as a cascade on which the sun is shining, is “Joy.”
The Pianolist Gustav Kobb

In one part, where it met with the resistance of a wall, it formed a cascade of fire.
The Book of Curiosities I. Platts

A moment after, and the noise of the cascade alone broke the silence of the desert.
Wood Rangers Mayne Reid

The cascade, when I saw it, was somewhat disfigured above and below.
At Last Charles Kingsley

a waterfall or series of waterfalls over rocks
something resembling this, such as folds of lace

a consecutive sequence of chemical or physical processes
(as modifier): cascade liquefaction

a series of stages in the processing chain of an electrical signal where each operates the next in turn
(as modifier): a cascade amplifier

the cumulative process responsible for the formation of an electrical discharge, cosmic-ray shower, or Geiger counter avalanche in a gas
the sequence of spontaneous decays by an excited atom or ion
(intransitive) to flow or fall in or like a cascade

1640s, from French cascade (17c.), from Italian cascata “waterfall,” from cascare “to fall,” from Vulgar Latin *casicare, frequentative of Latin casum, casus, past participle of cadere “to fall” (see case (n.1)).

1702, from cascade (n.). In early 19c. slang, “to vomit.” Related: Cascaded; cascading.

cascade cas·cade (kā-skād’)
A succession of actions, processes, or operations, as of a physiological process.
A series of chemical or physiological processes that occur in successive stages, each of which is dependent on the preceding one, to produce a culminating effect. The steps involved in the clotting of blood occur as a cascade.

1. A huge volume of spurious error-messages output by a compiler with poor error recovery. Too frequently, one trivial syntax error (such as a missing “)” or “}”) throws the parser out of synch so that much of the remaining program text, whether correct or not, is interpreted as garbaged or ill-formed.
2. A chain of Usenet followups, each adding some trivial variation or riposte to the text of the previous one, all of which is reproduced in the new message; an include war in which the object is to create a sort of communal graffito.
3. A collection of interconneced networking devices, typically hubs, that allows those devices to act together as a logical repeater.
[Jargon File]


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