1. the hypothetical fall of a body such that the only force acting upon it is that of gravity.
2. the part of a parachute jump that precedes the opening of the parachute.
3. a decline, esp. a sudden or rapid decline, as in value or prestige, that appears to be endless or bottomless: The economy was in a free fall all winter. Also,free-fall (for defs. 1, 2).
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—v., -fell, -fall•en, -fall•ing,
(of parachutists) to descend initially, as for a designated interval, in a free fall: The jumpers were required to free-fall for eight seconds.
denoting or suggesting a free fall: a free-fall recession.
free fall (defs. 1, 2).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.