downhill

1 of 3

adverb

down·​hill ˌdau̇n-ˈhil How to pronounce downhill (audio)
1
: toward the bottom of a hill
2
: toward a worsened or inferior state or level
used especially in the phrase go downhill

downhill

2 of 3

noun

down·​hill ˈdau̇n-ˌhil How to pronounce downhill (audio)
1
: a descending slope
2
a
: 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

3 of 3

adjective

down·​hill ˈdau̇n-ˌhil How to pronounce downhill (audio)
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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adverb
That way hikers can shorten their poles when climbing uphill and lengthen them going downhill to maintain the ergonomic benefits. Tiney Ricciardi, The Denver Post, 8 Apr. 2024 An optimist would view their perfect start as a sign of things to come, but a pessimist would point out that the season can only go downhill from here. Daniel R. Epstein, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 Ranson said flooding exists in Piper Glen under certain storm conditions and the Sutherland project is downhill from Piper Glen. Chase Jordan, Charlotte Observer, 28 Feb. 2024 Things started going downhill almost as soon as the ink dried. Dylan Sloan, Fortune, 26 Mar. 2024 Relations with the Biden administration have been going downhill as Israel vows to press on with a potential invasion of Rafah, where 1.4 million Palestinians are sheltering. Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN, 26 Mar. 2024 A lot of Brexit supporters were older and economically secure but had a keen sense of the country going downhill. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 25 Mar. 2024 After noticing new structures appearing on the park's flat, concrete pad downhill from a skateboard bowl built in the late 1980s, Parks and Recreation Department employees inquired about the work. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, arkansasonline.com, 24 Mar. 2024 Bebe Hodges Things have gone downhill in North College Hill over the past month. The Enquirer, 23 Mar. 2024
Noun
There are other excellent downhill ski resorts, and there are more luxurious guest ranches with extensive Nordic systems (but not this extensive), but none of these are co-located. Larry Olmsted, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 If one day of skiing leaves you with wobbly legs and your fill of downhill action, there's a lot more going on at the base of the peaks. Claudia Fisher, Travel + Leisure, 2 Mar. 2024 Hall’s jumper in the paint and Hoggard’s downhill drive sparked things. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, 31 Jan. 2024 Snow conditions for downhill skiing and snowboarding in Wisconsin NORTHERN WISCONSIN Excellent condition: Keyes Peak Ski Hill in Florence County, base of 12-24 inches, all runs open. Jim Higgins, Journal Sentinel, 18 Jan. 2024 Since there are no handles, the front child can also hang onto the lanyard during the downhill for added stability. Heather Balogh Rochfort, Parents, 26 Feb. 2024 His union busting hurt the Wisconsin middle class and started a long downhill spiral. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, 4 Jan. 2024 She’s won eight races, including a downhill in St. Moritz, and has a significant lead in the standings for what would be her sixth overall title. USA TODAY, 27 Jan. 2024 Lessons are useful for learning things like how to dismount a ski lift properly, how and where to stop, and who has the right-of-way on the downhill (anyone in front of you). Alisha McDarris, Popular Science, 27 Dec. 2023
Adjective
The American overall champion, who had already won the downhill title, beats Marion Rolland of France by 0.92 seconds. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2024 According to the New Hampshire Fish and Game, Hollis unsuccessfully tried to navigate a downhill left turn when her snowmobile hit a tree. David Chiu, Peoplemag, 26 Feb. 2024 This is an excellent middle-of-the-road boot for a beginner-to-intermediate downhill skier who doesn’t need a super soft boot, but isn’t in the market for a hard-charging model. Maggie Slepian, Travel + Leisure, 28 Nov. 2023 Spring skiing brings out the best in downhill enthusiasts. Roger Sands, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2024 In 1994, thinning ice ended the race early, while a severe cold snap in 2017 forced organizers to make last-minute changes to the usual route, including limiting a number of downhill slopes. Rachel Ramirez, CNN, 27 Feb. 2024 Mikaela Shiffrin appears to have escaped serious injury after a crash during a downhill race at the venue for the 2026 Olympics. USA TODAY, 27 Jan. 2024 Based on the Wisconsin Snow Report, compiled by Travel Wisconsin from observer reports, here is a look at snow depth for downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing around the state as of Feb. 8, emphasizing spots with the best current conditions. Jim Higgins, Journal Sentinel, 18 Jan. 2024 Top speed on flat ground is 20 kilometers per hour, a number that seems to beg for pushing the envelope via a downhill slope. IEEE Spectrum, 16 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'downhill.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Dictionary Entries Near downhill

Cite this Entry

“Downhill.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/downhill. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

downhill

1 of 3 adverb
down·​hill ˌdau̇n-ˈhil How to pronounce downhill (audio)
1
: toward the bottom of a hill
sleds speeding downhill
2
: toward a worsened or lower state or level
her health went downhill quickly

downhill

2 of 3 adjective
down·​hill ˈdau̇n-ˌhil How to pronounce downhill (audio)
: sloping downhill

downhill

3 of 3 noun
down·​hill -ˌhil How to pronounce downhill (audio)
1
: the sport of skiing on downhill trails
downhill skiing
2
: a skiing race against time down a trail
finished second in the downhill

More from Merriam-Webster on downhill

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