Can 'fall into oblivion' be used to mean 'be forgotten' as in the following.

Even most popular sportspersons are likely to fall into oblivion sometime after their retirement from the sporting arena.

  • Yes, the meaning is “be forgotten “. idioms.thefreedictionary.com/fall+into+oblivion
    – user 66974
    Apr 25, 2020 at 16:12
  • Yes, but the phrase connotes a dramatic fall. Possibly melodramatic here. Apr 25, 2020 at 16:12
  • It's a metaphor of sorts, and can carry a number of different meanings. But in the above context it would generally imply being forgotten.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 25, 2020 at 16:30
  • 3
    Quite often, fade into oblivion. Apr 25, 2020 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


Oblivion: the state of being completely forgotten. (CED)

Examples: He was another minor poet who was consigned to oblivion.

These toys will be around for a year or two, then fade/slide/sink into oblivion.

From Edwin's comment:

But the phrase connotes a dramatic fall.

Fall into oblivion:

  1. To become lost to obscurity; to not be known or remembered by anyone. (TheFreeDictionary)


  • The poet fell into oblivion after the war, only coming back into public awareness after an archive of his works was discovered in the basement of an abandoned warehouse in East Germany.

  • He held a rather cynical view of parenthood, believing that people only had children to avoid falling into oblivion.

  • 1
    Yes, something can fall into disuse, or disrepair, in a gradual way. Apr 25, 2020 at 16:49

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