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 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 As early as 1604, mine owners began laying wooden rails in tracks downhill from their pits to the nearest river, running on them wooden carts that could be pulled back uphill by a horse after unloading. David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Energy: A Human History,’ by Richard Rhodes," 7 June 2018 Yet in the century-old tradition, Mr. Byrd was buried downhill in the black section of the Jasper City Cemetery, not far from downtown, past the V.F.W. Post and First Baptist Church and the soaring water tower that hovers above the town. New York Times, "In Texas, a Decades-Old Hate Crime, Forgiven but Never Forgotten," 9 July 2018 Uphill and downhill, the bot slows down automatically. John Brandon, Fox News, "Top battery-powered lawn care gear," 28 June 2018 And friends have been teasing him that the aces were possible only because the distances between the tee box and greens were short and aided by the fact that both Par 3s were downhill holes. Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, "Towson amateur golfer enjoys two holes-in-one in 24-hour span," 13 June 2018 The Dynamo played downhill through most of the first half, maintaining possession well within Colorado's half. Glynn A. Hill, Houston Chronicle, "Dynamo dominate Colorado Rapids for shutout victory," 9 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Tech’s bread and butter is the downhill rushing attack. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville football can (and can’t) beat Georgia Tech," 7 July 2018 Vonn became, at 33, the oldest woman with an Alpine medal , taking home the bronze in the downhill. Washington Post, "Alpine wrap: Shiffrin, Hirscher 2 medals; Ledecka surprises," 25 Feb. 2018 The entire second half of the hole is straight downhill, making for some great views. Brent Kennedy, baltimoresun.com, "The Woodlands Golf Course," 11 May 2018 Skiing involved hours of hard climb on foot or skis for just a few minutes of downhill thrill. The Economist, "Trouble on the slopesWinter sports face a double threat, from climate and demographic change," 25 Jan. 2018 As the Arctic rapidly heats up, however, there’s less of a temperature difference between the equator and the poles, and the downhill slope in the atmosphere is accordingly less steep. Nathalie Baptiste, Slate Magazine, "Actually, Snow in Florida Is Probably Caused by Climate Change," 4 Jan. 2018 Otherwise, go either way at the junction for a 2-mile downhill trek to viewing decks at the edge of the lake. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Flagstaff hike: Rogers Trail hike is a lovely walk in the woods," 5 July 2018 His favorite track is Lime Rock Park in Salisbury, a 1.3-mile road course with uphills and downhills. Matt Ormseth, courant.com, "New Haven Lawyer’s Austin-Healey Built To Race," 13 July 2017 In her youth, Bisienere — a staunch Boston sports fan — was a downhill skier and has the bad knees to prove it. Stephen Ruiz, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Women in Central Florida sports honorees impact games people play," 12 May 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

7 Oct 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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Comments on downhill

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