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cas·cade (kăs-kād)
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n.
1. A waterfall or a series of small waterfalls over steep rocks.
2. Something, such as lace, thought to resemble a waterfall or series of small waterfalls, especially an arrangement or fall of material.
3. A heavy, uncontrolled outpouring: a cascade of abusive comments.
4.
a. A succession of stages, processes, operations, or units.
b. Electronics A series of components or networks, the output of each of which serves as the input for the next.
c. A chemical or physiological process that occurs in successive stages, each of which is dependent on the preceding one, and often producing a cumulative effect: an enzymatic cascade.
v. cas·cad·ed, cas·cad·ing, cas·cades
v.intr.
1. To fall in or as if in a cascade: "Morning glory vines ... cascaded over old-fashioned bamboo lattices" (Mary Yukari Waters).
2. To occur in a sequence or successive stages: circumstances that cascaded into a crisis.
v.tr.
1. To cause to fall in or as if in a cascade: cascaded the ingredients into the bowl.
2. To cause to occur in a sequence or successive stages: wholesale price reductions that are cascaded down to the consumer.

[French, from Italian cascata, from cascare, to fall, from Vulgar Latin *casicāre, from Latin cadere; see kad- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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