Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


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.
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
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.
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 Indo-European roots.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cascades - a mountain range in the northwestern United States extending through Washington and Oregon and northern CaliforniaCascades - a mountain range in the northwestern United States extending through Washington and Oregon and northern California; a part of the Coast Range
Northwest, northwestern United States - the northwestern region of the United States
Mount Saint Helens, Mount St. Helens, Mt. St. Helens - an active volcano in the Cascade Range in southwestern Washington; erupted violently in 1980 after 123 years of inactivity
Mount Adams, Adams - a mountain peak in southwestern Washington in the Cascade Range (12,307 feet high)
Coast Mountains, Coast Range - a string of mountain ranges along the Pacific coast of North America from southeastern Alaska to Lower California
Mount Ranier, Mount Tacoma, Mt. Ranier, Ranier - a mountain peak in central Washington; highest peak in the Cascade Range; (14,410 feet high)
References in classic literature ?
After one passes the last of these he has a backward glimpse at the falls which is very pleasing--they rise in a seven-stepped stairway of foamy and glittering cascades, and make a picture which is as charming as it is unusual.
Rising out of the grass, tangled round the sun-dial, wreathing the tree trunks and hanging from their branches, climbing up the walls and spreading over them with long garlands falling in cascades --they came alive day by day, hour by hour.
From these cases and from these barrels escaped ingots of gold and silver, cascades of piastres and jewels.
Caderousse was filled with wonder; the young man's words sounded to him like metal, and he thought he could hear the rushing of cascades of louis.
Some came rushing down gullies and ravines; others tumbled in crystal cascades from inaccessible clefts and rocks, and others winding their way in rapid and pellucid currents across the valley, to throw themselves into the main river.
Manicamp began to scoop up his gold by handfuls, and pour it in cascades upon his bed.
About thirty miles above Point Vancouver the mountains again approach on both sides of the river, which is bordered by stupendous precipices, covered with the fir and the white cedar, and enlivened occasionally by beautiful cascades leaping from a great height, and sending up wreaths of vapor.
Of course we drove in the Bois de Boulogne, that limitless park, with its forests, its lakes, its cascades, and its broad avenues.
which were regarded as wonderful in 1653, are still so, even at the present time; the cascades awakened the admiration of kings and princes; and as for the famous grotto, the theme of so many poetical effusions, the residence of that illustrious nymph of Vaux, whom Pelisson made converse with La Fontaine, we must be spared the description of all its beauties.
Bert found it quite possible to look down and contemplate the wild sub-arctic landscape below, now devoid of any sign of habitation, a land of rocky cliffs and cascades and broad swirling desolate rivers, and of trees and thickets that grew more stunted and scrubby as the day wore on.
He went up a great many flights of stairs, and he noticed, as he had very seldom noticed, how the carpet became steadily shabbier, until it ceased altogether, how the walls were discolored, sometimes by cascades of damp, and sometimes by the outlines of picture-frames since removed, how the paper flapped loose at the corners, and a great flake of plaster had fallen from the ceiling.
The pyramid of shimmering glasses, that had never been disturbed, changed to cascades as heavy bottles were flung into them.