downhill

adverb
down·​hill | \ˌdau̇n-ˈhil \

Definition of downhill 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : toward the bottom of a hill

2 : toward a worsened or inferior state or level used especially in the phrase go downhill

downhill

noun
down·​hill | \ˈdau̇n-ˌhil \

Definition of downhill (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a descending slope

2a : the sport of skiing on downhill trails often used attributively

b : a skiing race against time down a trail finished second in the downhill

downhill

adjective
down·​hill | \ˈdau̇n-ˌhil \

Definition of downhill (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : not difficult : easy after that problem the rest was downhill

2 : sloping downhill

3 : closer to the bottom of an incline your downhill ski

4 : progressively worse

5 American football : relating to, employing, or being a style of running in which a ballcarrier moves powerfully forward into the line of scrimmage and down the field toward the opponent's end zone without a lot of movement toward the sidelines to avoid tacklers a downhill runner The Tigers use their tight ends as blockers. They're more suited to an assertive, downhill running game now.— Bernie Miklasz

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Examples of downhill in a Sentence

Adverb

It is easier to ride a bike downhill than uphill. Her career is heading downhill. After his divorce, he went downhill fast. The service has gone downhill under the new owner.

Noun

most runners will have their best splits on the downhills

Adjective

The second half of the hike is mostly downhill. The worst part is over. It's all downhill from here. The first part of the movie was pretty good, but after that it was all downhill. His career has been all downhill in recent years.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The flames moved swiftly, driven downhill toward Paradise by winds reaching 55 miles an hour. Costas Synolakis, WSJ, "Lessons From the Paradise Fire," 18 Nov. 2018 Leveling blocks: Nothing ruins a night of sleep quite like rolling downhill, so check out the Camco FasTen leveling blocks ($29.46 for a pack of 10). Megan Barber, Curbed, "The ultimate van life shopping guide," 14 Nov. 2018 Despite Trump and the Kremlin’s expressed desire to improve relations, things have gone downhill between the two countries during this administration. Alex Ward, Vox, "The 2018 US midterm election results are in — and Russia feels like it lost.," 7 Nov. 2018 In her Netflix documentary Five Foot Two, Gaga gave insight into her love life just as things began to go downhill between her and Kinney. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lady Gaga's Ex-Fiancé Taylor Kinney Is "Really Proud" of Her for A Star Is Born," 8 Oct. 2018 The ride starts out in Wasatch Mountain State Park, and climbs through an Aspen grove, then takes a sharp descent through rock switchbacks before continuing downhill through lush pine forests. Annie Daly, SELF, "12 Beautiful Biking Destinations You’ll Want to Add to Your Bucket List," 18 July 2018 The water flows downhill through a pipeline to a tank, where it's pumped into trucks and hauled to a bottling plant. Christopher Weber, chicagotribune.com, "U.S. allows Nestle to keep taking water from California forest," 28 June 2018 The Warriors’ sublimely talented guard tore his Achilles tendon in 1979, and in the manner of so many other players who endured that fate, his career cascaded grimly downhill. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "DeMarcus Cousins and the Warriors: A temporary, fascinating spectacle," 3 July 2018 Tension that had gripped this small town near the site finally broke Tuesday evening as the last of the ambulances turned on their lights and sirens and raced downhill from the cave. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "How the world came together to save 12 boys trapped in a Thai cave," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The lodge, owned by a group that includes Olympic gold medal-winning downhill skier Tommy Moe, says the arrival of new users has increased risks of avalanches and helicopter collisions. Nathaniel Herz, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska heli-skiing company takes fight over fresh tracks to federal court," 1 June 2018 In a race that is purely man, or woman, versus mountain, downhill skiers tactfully dodge marked gates in the slope's fastest race. Dania Haughton, SI.com, "How Fast do Downhill Skiers Go?," 9 Feb. 2018 Englund's mother, Julia Newton, was a competitive downhill skier and encouraged Nita, her twin sister, Anna, and their older brother, Daniel. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "From tiny Florence, ski jumper Nita Englund sails into the Pyeongchang Olympics," 8 Feb. 2018 Proud mom Princess Charlene captured her daughter’s first successful downhill run and posted it on her Instagram this week. Peter Mikelbank, PEOPLE.com, "Princess Charlene Is Like Proud Moms Everywhere Documenting Daughter Gabriella's First Time Skiing," 2 Feb. 2018 Max Wix, a 15-year-old from D.C., busted his braces and chipped a tooth on a downhill ride. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "Teen "Scooter Outlaws" Are Getting Busted on Shareable Scooters," 24 Sep. 2018 As time went on, the athletic couple were spotted at Tiger's golf tournaments, Lindsey's downhill races, and gracing the red carpet at various galas. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Olympian Lindsey Vonn Has Always Been Super Open About Her Dating Life," 23 July 2018 Best Par 3: 4th hole Known by some as the course’s signature hole, this slightly downhill par 3 features a wide green flanked by plenty of trouble. Brent Kennedy, baltimoresun.com, "Hunt Valley Country Club," 11 July 2018 The defense has usually done well during the opening scrimmage of the spring and fall camp, which typically is run-heavy and allows the defense to play downhill. James Crepea, AL.com, "Auburn focusing on corrections after first spring scrimmage," 27 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Raced in the Winter Games, earning two medals: the first Olympic downhill gold for an American woman, and a bronze in the super-G. USA TODAY, "Broken bones, torn ligaments, more: Lindsey Vonn's injuries," 29 Jan. 2018 At the Jeongseon Alpine Center, where the men’s and women’s downhill ski events are to take place, a 33.7 million-gallon lake that has a water-cooling capacity of 2,250 gallons a minute was built. John Hopewell, Washington Post, "PyeongChang is more than cold enough for the Winter Olympics. It’s just not that snowy.," 9 Feb. 2018 Heading into the downhill, the Norwegians had won four silver medals and a bronze in the last six Olympic downhill races but never the top prize in the sport’s most esteemed Olympic race. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "The Ski Team That Sleeps Together Wins a Lot of Gold Medals Together," 15 Feb. 2018 Mayer seemed to be feeling the effects of that fall two days later, with a disappointing ninth finish in defense of his 2014 Olympic downhill title. Graham Dunbar, chicagotribune.com, "Austria's Matthias Mayer wins Olympic super-G, breaks Norway's streak," 15 Feb. 2018 Jerick McKinnon is a nice piece, but to further the cultural shift the brass wanted, getting a tough, downhill runner to replace Adrian Peterson was a high priority. Albert Breer, SI.com, "How Conference Championship Teams Were Built," 18 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downhill.' 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 downhill

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for downhill

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for downhill

The first known use of downhill was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for downhill

downhill

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of downhill

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: toward the bottom of a hill or mountain

: toward a worse state

downhill

noun

English Language Learners Definition of downhill (Entry 2 of 3)

: a downhill skiing race

downhill

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of downhill (Entry 3 of 3)

: going or sloping down toward the bottom of a hill or mountain

: not difficult : easy to do, deal with, etc.

: becoming worse or less successful

downhill

adverb
down·​hill | \ˈdau̇n-ˈhil \

Kids Definition of downhill

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : toward the bottom of a hill Our bikes coasted downhill.

2 : toward a worse condition Her career is heading downhill.

downhill

adjective
down·​hill | \ˈdau̇n-ˌhil \

Kids Definition of downhill (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : sloping downward a downhill path

2 : having to do with skiing down mountains

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More from Merriam-Webster on downhill

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with downhill

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for downhill

Spanish Central: Translation of downhill

Nglish: Translation of downhill for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of downhill for Arabic Speakers

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