- 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.
verb (used without object), cas·cad·ed, cas·cad·ing.
- to fall in or like a cascade.
verb (used with object), cas·cad·ed, cas·cad·ing.
- to cause to fall in a cascade.
- Electricity. to arrange (components) in a cascade.
- 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
- (intr) 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.
- 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.