fall between the cracks


fall between the cracks


  • slip through the cracks
  • fall through the cracks

Meaning | Synonyms

  • be ignored or unobserved
  • forgotten, overlooked or neglected
  • to let something go by without inspection for quality
  • to forget about one thing in trying to prioritize another
  • to refer to something that slips out because it was too small to notice or there were other more pressing matters
  • ignored
  • overlooked
  • mismanaged
  • forgotten
  • disregarded

Example Sentences

  1. The management was so focused on planning for the next year’s budget that they let this issue fall between the cracks.
  2. The criminals of this standard often fall between the cracks because neither are their crimes so severe that they are incarcerated nor are they accepted as any other person in the society.
  3. The chef was so caught up with the broth that he let the salad fall between the cracks.
  4. I am not willing to let this subject fall between the cracks because my major is something else. I’d like to earn good scores for both of them.
  5. In the aviation industry there is very little that can be afforded to have fallen between the cracks.
  6. After the terrible earthquake the hospital was over crowded with injured people and most of them were falling through the cracks.
  7. After the birth of my second child my elder son is falling through the cracks, I need someone who can take care of him right now.


The phrase comes from the fact that often small things slip through without getting noticed because of their lesser significance or size. It started as small things literally slipping out and falling between the cracks of the sofas and has been used as a metaphor for other situations since then.

Share your opinions1 Opinion

This originates from the expression “fall between the floor boards” that arose when floors had gaps between the wood slats that formed wooden floors. Small things such as coins or pieces of paper could fall through those “cracks” between the floor boards. The idea of “falling between the cracks” makes no sense. Things can fall into the cracks and disappear, or they can fall between the floor boards (on either side of the cracks), but things cannot fall between the cracks (because that’s where the floor boards are!).

‒ G Schneider December 18, 2020

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