down·​er | \ ˈdau̇-nər How to pronounce downer (audio) \

Definition of downer

1 : a weak, sick, or crippled animal in shipment that is down and cannot get up often used attributively a downer cow
2 : a depressant drug especially : barbiturate
3 : someone or something depressing, disagreeable, or unsatisfactory

Synonyms & Antonyms for downer



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Examples of downer in a Sentence

I took some downers to help me sleep. “His cat just died.” “Oh, that's a real downer.” Our conversation about death was a bit of a downer.
Recent Examples on the Web And that thanks to Caan, that last shot of him mysteriously smiling at his slashed face in a mirror is a pitch-perfect Seventies downer ending. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 7 July 2022 Are fans in for an Empire Strikes Back-style downer ending? Brendan Morrow, The Week, 1 July 2022 But having a new/unknown James Bond in a deeply unconventional 007 movie with a downer ending didn’t quite work, at least not in 1969. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 7 Nov. 2021 There's also that twist and the downer of an ending that chases it; decades later, the franchise is still trying to recapture that magic. Randall Colburn,, 16 May 2022 This can make my time in the outdoors a bit of a bummer or even a real downer. Blair Braverman, Outside Online, 14 Oct. 2021 For real, though, nothing is quite such a downer as being wide awake while your face looks as tired as someone who’s been up for 36 hours. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 June 2022 Exasperatingly, the vast majority center on one of three plots: the coming-out story, the in-love-with-my-straight-buddy dead-end romance and the coping-with-AIDS downer. Peter Debruge, Variety, 23 May 2022 Despite the downer sentiment hanging over markets (crypto too is sinking), crude prices are stable, with Brent trading around $100. Alan Murray, Fortune, 11 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of downer

1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries Near downer



Downers Grove

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Statistics for downer

Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Downer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for downer


down·​er | \ ˈdau̇-nər How to pronounce downer (audio) \

Medical Definition of downer

: a depressant drug especially : barbiturate


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