down·​hill | \ ˌdau̇n-ˈhil How to pronounce downhill (audio) \

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


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

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


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

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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Even before the pandemic started, it's been going downhill. James Brown, USA TODAY, 27 Mar. 2022 The Lakers began to slide on defense in the second quarter and kept going downhill during their 127-119 defeat to the Wizards. Broderick Turner Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 20 Mar. 2022 Our relationship went downhill from there, and his dealings with the reporting team overall became strained with his first reedit of the story. Seija Rankin, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 July 2022 This year's scholarship recipient is alpine skier Ebba Årsjö, who won two gold medals in alpine combination and slalom as well as bronze in downhill at the Paralympics in Beijing. Stephanie Petit,, 14 July 2022 Preston Leslie is the logger Garrett hired to remove the small trees in the forests downhill of Mariposa Grove. Kyle Dickman, Outside Online, 13 July 2022 All downhill with a crosswind that trends to help a draw. Chris Pugh, USA TODAY, 6 July 2022 When those lanes open, Jefferson gets downhill in a hurry. Brooks Holton, The Courier-Journal, 1 July 2022 Lach will be one of the fastest players in the region and can really get ‘downhill’ to the rim in both the half and full court. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 24 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Tarmac cuts through the majestic natural landscape in a gentle arc that resolves into a lengthy downhill straightaway. Basemwasef, Robb Report, 28 July 2022 Gorropu can be accessed by a Jeep tour from the Chìntula organization’s base camp at Kilometer 190 on the SS125, or via a steep downhill hike from the free parking (Parcheggio Gorropu gratuito) at the Passo Ghenna Silana on the SS125. Mary Winston Nicklin, Washington Post, 13 May 2022 Bernhard Russi, a famed course designer and the 1972 Olympic downhill champion, designed the course at Yanqing, but only after Chinese officials had selected the mountain as the location for the Alpine events. Matthew Futterman, New York Times, 6 Feb. 2022 Vonn became the first American woman to win the Olympic downhill and won another Olympic medal in 2018. Bill Pennington, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2022 The world’s top female skier didn’t win the downhill or even come close. Nathan Fenno, Los Angeles Times, 14 Feb. 2022 This makes sense because skinny skis are uniquely difficult to turn or stop on the downhill yet light and agile enough to hop out of the track on the uphill. Outside Online, 26 Mar. 2021 The men's downhill was postponed on Sunday because of high winds. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, 7 Feb. 2022 Shiffrin will race the combined, which is one run of downhill and one run of slalom. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, 17 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Several more minor downhill twists lead to the junction with the Sandys Canyon Trail. Mare Czinar, The Arizona Republic, 22 July 2022 This downhill action helps set up the boot action the Browns have become known for under Stefanski. Lance Reisland, cleveland, 21 July 2022 In 2018, the downhill skier Breezy Johnson suffered a knee injury that ended her season. Katherine Cusumano, Outside Online, 14 July 2022 In 2019, researchers studying downhill mountain bikers found that the riders said that the sport gave them a lot of happiness; however, their happiness was lower during the activity than before and after. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 7 July 2022 But Conway got back and had a big kick as the final route had more downhill grade. Chris Bieri, Anchorage Daily News, 4 July 2022 D’Amato slipped ahead of Lokedi after a downhill stretch on the third mile. Jayna Bardahl,, 26 June 2022 Kicked away at a cinder block from his downhill stance. Matt Sullivan, Rolling Stone, 23 June 2022 After a steady par on the 10th hole, Zalatoris played it smart and safe on the downhill par-3 11th hole, which was playing just 108 yards on Sunday (with a dastardly difficult back left hole location). Bill Pennington, New York Times, 19 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of downhill


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1535, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

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Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Downhill.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for downhill


down·​hill | \ ˈdau̇n-ˈhil How to pronounce downhill (audio) \

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.


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

Kids Definition of downhill (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : sloping downward a downhill path
2 : having to do with skiing down mountains

More from Merriam-Webster on downhill

Nglish: Translation of downhill for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of downhill for Arabic Speakers


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