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down Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun soft fine feathers
    down feather.
  2. noun (American football) a complete play to advance the football
    • you have four downs to gain ten yards
  3. noun English physician who first described Down's syndrome (1828-1896)
    John L. H. Down.
  4. noun (usually plural) a rolling treeless highland with little soil
  5. noun fine soft dense hair (as the fine short hair of cattle or deer or the wool of sheep or the undercoat of certain dogs)
  6. verb drink down entirely
    drink down; bolt down; pour down; pop; belt down; kill; toss off.
    • He downed three martinis before dinner
    • She killed a bottle of brandy that night
    • They popped a few beer after work
  7. verb eat immoderately
    go through; devour; consume.
    • Some people can down a pound of meat in the course of one meal
  8. verb bring down or defeat (an opponent)
  9. verb shoot at and force to come down
    land; shoot down.
    • the enemy landed several of our aircraft
  10. verb cause to come or go down
    knock down; push down; pull down; cut down.
    • The policeman downed the heavily armed suspect
    • The mugger knocked down the old lady after she refused to hand over her wallet
  11. verb improve or perfect by pruning or polishing
    polish; fine-tune; refine.
    • refine one's style of writing
  12. adjective being or moving lower in position or less in some value
    • lay face down
    • the moon is down
    • our team is down by a run
    • down by a pawn
    • the stock market is down today
  13. adjective satellite extending or moving from a higher to a lower place
    • the down staircase
    • the downward course of the stream
  14. adjective satellite becoming progressively lower
    • the down trend in the real estate market
  15. adjective satellite being put out by a strikeout
    • two down in the bottom of the ninth
  16. adjective satellite understood perfectly
    down pat; mastered.
    • had his algebra problems down
  17. adjective satellite lower than previously
    • the market is depressed
    • prices are down
  18. adjective satellite shut
    • the shades were down
  19. adjective satellite not functioning (temporarily or permanently)
    • we can't work because the computer is down
  20. adjective satellite filled with melancholy and despondency
    blue; downhearted; dispirited; down in the mouth; depressed; downcast; gloomy; low; low-spirited; grim.
    • gloomy at the thought of what he had to face
    • gloomy predictions
    • a gloomy silence
    • took a grim view of the economy
    • the darkening mood
    • lonely and blue in a strange city
    • depressed by the loss of his job
    • a dispirited and resigned expression on her face
    • downcast after his defeat
    • feeling discouraged and downhearted
  21. adverb spatially or metaphorically from a higher to a lower level or position
    downward; downwards; downwardly.
    • don't fall down
    • rode the lift up and skied down
    • prices plunged downward
  22. adverb away from a more central or a more northerly place
    • was sent down to work at the regional office
    • worked down on the farm
    • came down for the wedding
    • flew down to Florida
  23. adverb paid in cash at time of purchase
    • put ten dollars down on the necklace
  24. adverb from an earlier time
    • the story was passed down from father to son
  25. adverb to a lower intensity
    • he slowly phased down the light until the stage was completely black
  26. adverb in an inactive or inoperative state
    • the factory went down during the strike
    • the computer went down again

Down noun
Akin to LG. dune, dun, Icel. dnn, Sw. dun, Dan. duun, G. daune, cf. D. dons; perh. akin to E. dust.
  1. Fine, soft, hairy outgrowth from the skin or surface of animals or plants, not matted and fleecy like wool; esp.: (a) (Zoöl.) The soft under feathers of birds. They have short stems with soft rachis and bards and long threadlike barbules, without hooklets. (b) (Bot.) The pubescence of plants; the hairy crown or envelope of the seeds of certain plants, as of the thistle. (c) The soft hair of the face when beginning to appear.
    And the first down begins to shade his face. Dryden.
  2. That which is made of down, as a bed or pillow; that which affords ease and repose, like a bed of down
    When in the down I sink my head, Sleep, Death's twin brother, times my breath. Tennyson.
    Thou bosom softness, down of all my cares! Southern.
Down transitive verb
  1. To cover, ornament, line, or stuff with down. R. Young.
Down noun
OE. dun, doun, AS. dn; of Celtic origin; cf. Ir. dn hill, fortified hill, Gael. dun heap, hillock, hill, W. din a fortified hill or mount; akin to E. town. See Town, and cf. Down, adv. & prep., Dune.
  1. A bank or rounded hillock of sand thrown up by the wind along or near the shore; a flattish-topped hill; -- usually in the plural.
    Hills afford prospects, as they must needs acknowledge who have been on the downs of Sussex. Ray.
    She went by dale, and she went by down. Tennyson.
  2. A tract of poor, sandy, undulating or hilly land near the sea, covered with fine turf which serves chiefly for the grazing of sheep; -- usually in the plural. Eng.
    Seven thousand broad-tailed sheep grazed on his downs. Sandys.
  3. pl. A road for shipping in the English Channel or Straits of Dover, near Deal, employed as a naval rendezvous in time of war.
    On the 11th [June, 1771] we run up the channel . . . at noon we were abreast of Dover, and about three came to an anchor in the Downs, and went ashore at Deal. Cook (First Voyage).
  4. pl. From the adverb. A state of depression; low state; abasement. Colloq.
    It the downs of life too much outnumber the ups. M. Arnold.
Down adverb
For older adown, AS. adn, adne, prop., from or off the hill. See 3d Down, and cf. Adown, and cf. Adown.
  1. In the direction of gravity or toward the center of the earth; toward or in a lower place or position; below; -- the opposite of up.
  2. Hence, in many derived uses, as: (a) From a higher to a lower position, literally or figuratively; in a descending direction; from the top of an ascent; from an upright position; to the ground or floor; to or into a lower or an inferior condition; as, into a state of humility, disgrace, misery, and the like; into a state of rest; -- used with verbs indicating motion.
    It will be rain to-night. Let it come down. Shak.
    I sit me down beside the hazel grove. Tennyson.
    And that drags down his life. Tennyson.
    There is not a more melancholy object in the learned world than a man who has written himself down. Addison.
    The French . . . shone down [i. e., outshone] the English. Shak.
    (b) In a low or the lowest position, literally or figuratively; at the bottom of a decent; below the horizon; of the ground; in a condition of humility, dejection, misery, and the like; in a state of quiet.
    I was down and out of breath. Shak.
    The moon is down; I have not heard the clock. Shak.
    He that is down needs fear no fall. Bunyan.
  3. From a remoter or higher antiquity.
    Venerable men! you have come down to us from a former generation. D. Webster.
  4. From a greater to a less bulk, or from a thinner to a thicker consistence; as, to boil down in cookery, or in making decoctions. Arbuthnot. Down is sometimes used elliptically, standing for go down, come down, tear down, take down, put down, haul down, pay down, and the like, especially in command or exclamation.
    Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke. Shak.
    If he be hungry more than wanton, bread alone will down. Locke.
    Down is also used intensively; as, to be loaded down; to fall down; to hang down; to drop down; to pay down.
    The temple of Herè at Argos was burnt down. Jowett (Thucyd. ).
    Down, as well as up, is sometimes used in a conventional sense; as, down East.
    Persons in London say down to Scotland, etc., and those in the provinces, up to London. Stormonth.
Down preposition
From Down, adv.
  1. In a descending direction along; from a higher to a lower place upon or within; at a lower place in or on; as, down a hill; down a well.
  2. Hence: Towards the mouth of a river; towards the sea; as, to sail or swim down a stream; to sail down the sound.
Down transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Downed ; present participle & verbal noun Downing
  1. To cause to go down; to make descend; to put down; to overthrow, as in wrestling; hence, to subdue; to bring down. Archaic or Colloq. "To down proud hearts." Sir P. Sidney.
    I remember how you downed Beauclerk and Hamilton, the wits, once at our house. Madame D'Arblay.
Down intransitive verb
  1. To go down; to descend. Locke.
Down adjective
  1. Downcast; as, a down look. R.
  2. Downright; absolute; positive; as, a down denial. Obs. Beau. & Fl.
  3. Downward; going down; sloping; as, a down stroke; a down grade; a down train on a railway. = down at the mouth

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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