Meaning of DOWN in English


I. ˈdau̇n noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English doun hill, from Old English dūn; akin to Middle Dutch dūne dune, Old Irish dūn fortress, Sanskrit dhūnoti he shakes — more at down (feathers)

1. archaic : hill ; often : a hillock of sand thrown up by the wind on or near a shore : dune


a. : an undulating generally treeless upland with sparse soil — usually used in plural

b. downs plural , often capitalized : treeless chalk uplands along the south and southeast coast of England

3. often capitalized : a sheep of any breed originating in the downs of southern England typically being of good mutton conformation and producing moderately fine wool of medium length — compare southdown

II. adverb

Etymology: Middle English doun, from Old English dūne, short for adūne, of dūne, from a- (from of ) or of off, from + dūne, dative of dūn hill — more at of


a. : in the direction of gravity or toward the center of the earth

down beneath the solid crust of the earth

: from a higher point to or toward the earth's surface

the wind blew all the apples down

: to the ground or other base

the house burned down during the night

planning to tear down the old shed

b. : from a higher to a lower place or position

pull down the blind

then we turned down toward the valley

looking down over the face of the cliff

c. : from an upright position to or toward a surface regarded as a base in respect to which something is normally oriented

the roof sagging, the chimney tumbling down

or to or into a state more relaxed or more humble

do sit down

let slaves bow down when freemen pass

d. : out of one's hands or charge

put the cake down on the table

lay down your book for a minute

often : into such a position as to free or relieve one

put down your load and rest

laying down the burdens of state

e. : in or into a recumbent position

lie down and go to sleep

knocked his opponent down with a sudden blow

f. : toward or below the horizon

the sun far down in the west

the moon went down an hour ago

g. : to or toward the bottom of a body of water

sank down before they could reach him

h. : from an upper to a lower floor in a building especially to meet or join companions

I'll come down in a minute

all of us hurried down to dinner

i. : toward the bottom of a sheet or page of paper

here your hand, guiding your rapid pen, moved up and down — Edna S.V.Millay

— in most senses opposed to or contrasted with up; often used as a function word to intensify a modified verb especially of action or motion; sometimes used with the force of a verb in command or exclamation

down before he sees who you are

down on your knees, ungrateful girl, and pray for forgiveness


a. : in a direction that is conventionally or temporarily the opposite of up

b. : from an outlying part to or toward a center of activity (as a business district, a metropolis, or a terminal point) ; often : to or toward the lower part of town : downtown

c. : from a center of activity to or toward an outlying part or remote place

going down to the country for a rest

often : to a place other than one's regular or urban abode to which one has a right to issue invitations

come down to our camp on the river anytime

grandma would love to have you run down some weekend

d. Britain : away from a university or other seat of learning

sent down for misconduct without his degree

he got a job in advertising shortly after he came down and has stayed with the firm ever since

e. : in a southerly direction

they went down to Florida for Christmas

f. : to a source or a place of concealment

tracking down a wounded deer

run down this vile rumor

I'm not sure how you can track down that quotation

g. : in or into the stomach

he eats but the food won't stay down

get your drink down , we're late already


a. : to or into a lower or inferior state (as of humility, defeat, disgrace, or restraint)

held down by his lack of education

a man come down in life

b. : to a point of complete control, stoppage, or quiet

tie down the load

now calm down , my dear

they had to strap the patient down

shouting down the opposition

c. : to a great or the utmost degree : very heavily

burdened down with the cares of a family

d. : to completion : fully : from top to bottom

I dusted down the whole house

wash down the car

e. : under a perennial crop

it is sometimes profitable to leave land down to hay for several years


a. : with forcible or abrupt descent

fell down and cut his lip

b. : actively , seriously , vigorously

finally settled down to work

5. : from a past time : from remoter times or people

tales handed down by word of mouth

these spoons have passed down in our family since the 17th century


a. : from a greater to a lesser amount, bulk, or strength

don't forget to water down the wine

b. : from a thinner to a thicker consistency

boiled down the sap into syrup

: from a larger dilute volume to a smaller more concentrated one

finally got his report down to three pages

c. : from a higher to a lower value

most stocks went down last week

d. : in descending order of rank — used of a series of plays or discards from the same suit in certain card games

7. : in or into symbols (as written letters) that can be preserved for future reference

write down everything she says

put down the following figures


a. : in or into a position indicative of an intent to bet (as on a particular number)

he put his money down on the red

: at hazard

the chips are down , the result is in the hands of fate

b. : immediately in cash

I can't pay more than $10 down

9. : into defeat — used chiefly in relation to the scoring of games

we went down two tricks


a. : in lower case or with a lower-case initial letter

b. : on a verso page and with its head next to the binding edge — used of the facing of an illustration

11. : to press or the pressroom — used of newspaper copy or an edition of a newspaper

the edition has already gone down

12. : toward the front of a theatrical stage — compare downstage

13. : in or into a perfected or thoroughly understood state

had the subject down pat

- down to the ground

- down with

III. (|)dau̇n preposition


a. : in a descending direction along

swiftly rolling down the hill

b. : from a higher to a lower point upon or within

sweat trickling down his neck

c. : at a lower level on or in

we keep the butter down the well


a. : along the course of

children running down the street

b. : from the source toward the mouth of

a rapids three miles further down the stream

: toward the outlet or southerly end of

we wandered down the valley

c. : along the margin of

steaming down the coast

d. : in the same course as : with

clouds blowing down the wind

3. — used as a function word to indicate movement in the opposite direction to a direction arbitrarily designated up without regard to actual ascent or descent

pacing up and down the room

4. : down into the

he went down town

he went down cellar

: down in the

they had some canned goods down cellar

— often used in combination with a following noun to form adverbs and adjectives

the down river end of town

IV. ˈdau̇n adjective


a. : going or directed down

b. : declining from a previous or normal level

new construction is sharply down

c. : conveying or for conveying downward

d. : running vertically

down lines on a ledger page


a. : reduced temporarily to a state of inactivity, inoperativeness, or depression

the wind is down

b. : low in spirits : downcast

I'm completely down and out of sorts today

also : fallen from a better to a worse or from a higher to a lower state

don't kick a man when he's down

c. : suffering from ill health

my wife is down with malaria

sometimes : off the feet especially because of illness

always try to get a down horse on his feet

half the herd was down before morning

d. : closed down (as for repairs, remodeling, reorganization)

the shop will be down while the new machines are installed

it's unlikely that most of the down watermills will reopen

e. of an electric battery : not adequately charged

f. of a football : not being in play because its progress is wholly stopped or the officials stop the play for any reason

3. : occupying or returned to a low or a lower position or state

the window is down from the top

: on or toward the ground, floor, or any surface regarded as a base with respect to which something is oriented

the shades are down

all the vines are down


a. : below the horizon

the moon is down

b. : lower in price or characterized by lower prices

wheat is down over 10 per cent

c. of grass : fallen to the ground after being mowed

d. of timber : lying on the ground especially as the result of being blown over or cut

e. of a boxer : having any part of the body other than the feet in contact with the floor ; also : in a position of helplessness if so recognized by the referee

f. of a team or contestant : defeated or behind an opponent (as in points scored)

he was down on all cards at the middle of the 10th round

the honors broke badly and they were down two tricks

g. : retired from play : out — used chiefly in baseball

h. of a cricket wicket : broken so that a batsman is out

i. : written or printed with a lower-case letter or initial letter ; also : partial to lower-case rather than capital initial letters

a down style


a. : directed to or forming part of the traffic to a place (as a business section, metropolis, or terminal) conventionally regarded as lower

you can take a down train at the local station

down traffic is heavy this morning

b. : of, relating to, or intended for the use of down traffic or transportation

go to the down platform in the subway station

5. of a payment : being that part of a price that is paid at the time of purchase or delivery when the entire price is not then paid

a down payment of $10

6. : gone to press — used of an item of news copy or of an edition of a newspaper

the paper was down in the late afternoon

7. : finished , consumed, processed

eight down and two to go

- down on

V. ˈdau̇n noun

( -s )


a. : a descent, decline, depression, or dwindling — used especially in the phrase ups and downs

emotional ups and downs

the recurrent ups and downs of the business cycle

the erratic ups and downs of livestock production

b. : a reverse in fortune ; often : a period of depressed activity (as in business)

certain industries are especially subject to seasonal downs

c. : an alteration in the quality of a speaker's voice (as in radio acting) designed to distinguish narration from dialogue in matter he is reciting


a. : an instance of putting down (as an opponent in wrestling)


(1) : the termination of an attempt to advance the ball in football occurring when the referee blows his whistle or declares the ball dead

(2) : a complete play to advance the ball or its duration

c. : failure to score on a badminton serve — called also handout

3. : a firm and persistent dislike : grudge — used with the indefinite article and with on

why should she have such a down on me?

VI. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

: to cause to come or go down: as

a. : swallow

quickly downing his drink

b. : to relegate to obscurity or forgetfulness : suppress

he could not down his regrets

c. : to get the better of : defeat

the coalition downed the bill after a lengthy fight

do our best to protect the one and down the other — John Buchan


(1) : to bring to a stop (as a game animal or an adversary) by a shot or blow

market hunters downing geese by the hundreds

often : kill

(2) : to bring to the ground (a football opponent) by tackling

(3) : to shoot from the air (an aircraft)

accidentally downed a British airliner


(1) : to put (the helm) down

(2) : to lower (as a signal or sail)

(3) : to decrease the rate or speed of (the revolutions of a propeller)

f. : to lay aside : put down

he downed his ax and sat on a stump to rest

often : to cease to employ or engage in — usually used with a material object that may be taken as a symbol of an activity or occupation

the boys downed their bats and fishing rods at vacation's end and went back to school

the union will certainly down tools if no settlement is reached

intransitive verb

: to go down or be put down: as

a. : to become swallowed ; sometimes : to appeal to the taste

a drink that really downs on a wintry evening

b. : to become brought to nothing or suppressed

his regret may never down

VII. noun

( plural down also downs )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English doun, from Old Norse dūnn; akin to Old Norse daunn odor, dȳja to shake, Gothic dauns odor, Latin suf fire to fumigate, Greek thyein to rage, Sanskrit dhūnoti he shakes, Latin fumus smoke — more at fume


a. : a covering of soft fluffy feathers somewhat resembling fur that clothes young precocial birds before they acquire true feathers

b. : the small fluffy feathers that lie next to the body of adult birds, that are especially prominent over the abdomen, and that are notably developed and fine in texture in ducks, geese, and other water birds from which they are often collected and used for stuffing (as in pillows, sleeping bags, or bedcovers) because of their light weight and good insulating quality

a down comforter

pluck the down from a hundred geese

c. plural downs : one of the feathers making up the down of a bird

2. : something felt to resemble down especially in soft fluffy quality: as

a. : the first growth of beard on the human face

a slender lad with just a trace of down on his cheeks

also : fine soft hair elsewhere on the body

tanned arms lightly covered with a silvery down

b. : the pubescence of a plant

wipe the down off the peaches

also : a soft tuft (as a coma or pappus) on some plant part

c. : soft fur fiber usually from the undercoat of an animal

d. : a fine powdery coating or surface

a down of crystals

- in the down

VIII. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

: to cover, ornament, line, or stuff with down : make downy

a mouse downed in its winter coat — Herbert Gold

IX. adjective

Usage: usually capitalized

Etymology: from Down, county of Northern Ireland

: of or from County Down, Northern Ireland : of the kind or style prevalent in County Down

X. adjective

1. slang : cool 8

a down dude

— often used as a generalized term of approval

2. : being a constituent of nucleons and having the quantum characteristics of an electric charge of - 1/3 and a baryon number of 1/3

down quark

— compare up herein

3. : being on record

you're down for two tickets

4. slang : friendly : favorable : supportive

he's down with hip-hop

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.