Meaning of DOWNWARD in English

I. ˈdau̇nwə(r)d adverb

also down·wards -dz

Etymology: downward from Middle English dounward, from doun down + -ward; downwards from Middle English dounwardes, from dounward + -es (adverbially functioning gen. singular ending of nouns) — more at down , -s

1. : from a higher place to a lower : in a descending course

looking downward to the grass

the streams roll downward to the sea

2. : from a higher to a lower condition

revised his estimate downward

: toward misery, humility, disgrace, or ruin

fell from grace and went downward in life

3. : from a remote or earlier time : from an ancestor or predecessor : from one to another in a descending line

prophets from Elijah downward who preached repentance

II. adjective

Etymology: Middle English dounward, from dounward, adverb

1. : moving or extending from a higher to a lower place : tending toward the earth or its center or toward a lower level

the downward pull of gravity

2. : descending from a head, origin, or source

a downward line of descent

the downward course of a stream


a. archaic : tending to a lower state : dejected

b. : directed toward or leading to ruin, destruction, or damnation

a man on the downward path

took her downward way

c. : debasing

the scripture contains many downward comparisons of man and his ways

4. archaic : being below : lower

• down·ward·ly adverb

• down·ward·ness noun -es

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