downer

noun
down·er | \ˈdau̇-nər \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for downer

Synonyms

bummer, down

Antonyms

upper

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The last week or two before the game were a downer for me at the plate. Steve Millar, Daily Southtown, "Carried by Trey: Fulton’s two hits lead the way for Joliet Slammers in Frontier League All-Star Game," 14 July 2018 What follows is a methodical and sustained act of existential self-immolation, as Moshfegh’s narrator lays waste to her own raw human capital, obliterating month after month in a fog of downers, Diet Sprite, and Whoopi Goldberg movies. Alexandra Kleeman, Vanities, "This Novel Provides an Empowering, Grotesque Alternative to Leaning In," 2 July 2018 The Houston Rockets' offseason has been kind of a downer of sorts. SI.com, "The Rockets Strange Offseason and the Pursuit of Carmelo Anthony," 10 July 2018 Tariffs tend to be economic downers with an impact like sales taxes, which push up costs for consumers and businesses and slow growth. Bob Davis, WSJ, "U.S. Economic Strength Gives Trump Leeway in Trade Fight With China," 6 July 2018 Mostly the largely new and vastly improved Fifth Third was an upper, for what had become a downer venue. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Paul Daugherty: Upstairs People rewarded with UC's Fifth Third Arena renovations," 17 June 2018 Funny that existentialism doesn’t seem such a downer anymore, now that the omnipresent threat to our humanity is not material privation but informational excess. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Giacometti: Beguiled by Thin Men and Women," 6 June 2018 Is the attraction that of having sensations heightened or dulled, a dose of uppers for the ears, or downers? Mark Swed, latimes.com, "Becoming John Luther Adams: The evolution of one of America's hottest composers," 3 May 2018 Three seasons ago proved to be a downer for the Bears’ all-time leading scorer when the team cut him and signed Connor Barth. Phil Thompson, chicagotribune.com, "Ex-Bear Robbie Gould 'adopted' 8-year-old cancer survivor," 26 Mar. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of downer

1913, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about downer

Statistics for downer

Last Updated

29 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for downer

The first known use of downer was in 1913

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for downer

downer

noun

English Language Learners Definition of downer

: a drug that makes the body relax

: something that is unpleasant or depressing

downer

noun
down·er | \ˈdau̇-nər \

Medical Definition of downer 

: a depressant drug especially : barbiturate

More from Merriam-Webster on downer

See words that rhyme with downer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for downer

Comments on downer

What made you want to look up downer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!