down·​draft | \-ˌdraft \

Definition of downdraft 

1 : a downward current of gas (such as air during a thunderstorm)

2 : decline sense 1 an economic downdraft

Examples of downdraft in a Sentence

a strong downdraft from the thunderstorm

Recent Examples on the Web

Thunderstorms produce cold gusts of air — downdrafts — which is how shelf clouds eventually form. Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "Menacing shelf clouds and beautiful post-storm glow from Monday night’s wild weather," 15 May 2018 This sudden downdraft crashes outward in all directions, lifting the sandy soil at the surface and carrying it for miles. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "‘One of the most incredible sights’: Monster dust storm sweeps across Southern Arizona," 10 July 2018 If past history provides a roadmap of how these short-term market dips play out, this downdraft could be nearing its end. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "History shows latest stock market swoon may be ending soon," 4 Apr. 2018 In that case, any tech downdraft will have a disproportionately large negative impact on 401(k) plans. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "Tech’s rising influence on 401(k) plans: pros and cons of tech's swelling weight in S&P 500," 6 June 2018 When wind shear is present and the updrafts are tilted and separated from the downdrafts, the storms can last longer and potentially intensify. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "This towering ‘mushroom cloud’ in Alabama seems unreal. But it’s a textbook summer storm.," 14 June 2018 The biggest downdrafts were in stocks like aerospace giant Boeing, down 1.7%, and heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar, off 2.3%, which do a lot of business abroad and would be most negatively impacted by higher costs and less trade. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Tariff winners and losers: How Trump's trade spat could affect shoppers," 31 May 2018 Retractable downdrafts and flush ceiling vent hoods are other options for people who would rather not see this necessary kitchen appliance. John Inc., Houston Chronicle, "GHBA Remodelers Council: The Top 6 unique kitchen design trends of 2018," 13 May 2018 Given the strong wind shear and dynamic nature of the jet stream trough, these storms may contain a few strong and even locally damaging downdrafts. Jeff Halverson, Washington Post, "Heavy rain, flooding and thunderstorms possible Sunday evening through Monday morning," 13 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downdraft.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of downdraft

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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down cycle



down east



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The first known use of downdraft was in 1849

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English Language Learners Definition of downdraft

: a downward flow of air

More from Merriam-Webster on downdraft

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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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