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

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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 Her mom Shauna is just 16 and relies on her grandma to take care of her and Deja, but when grandma dies, things really go downhill. Maggie Fremont, Vulture, 26 May 2021 On the other hand, some may go downhill as summer enters. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, 19 Apr. 2021 That was the peak after which things began to go downhill. Donald L. Luskin, WSJ, 31 Mar. 2021 Britt remembers the exact date everything began to go downhill: March 19, 2020, the day she was sent home from work. Amelia Pak-harvey, The Indianapolis Star, 31 Mar. 2021 Not everyone is plugged in to today’s situation and may not expect things to go downhill starting this afternoon. Leigh Morgan, al, 17 Mar. 2021 But here’s the surprise: according to the new Infinite Dial data, Amazon Music listenership has stopped growing, while Spotify continues to grow (and, less surprisingly, Pandora listenership continues to go downhill). Bill Rosenblatt, Forbes, 12 Mar. 2021 But the hardest part of the journey came at its start since the massive building had to go downhill, Joy told the outlet. Jason Duaine Hahn,, 22 Feb. 2021 The fixation continued, though things soon went downhill. Washington Post, 14 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Now, the regenerative brakes are used along with the physical brakes to stop the truck from running away on a downhill. Sebastian Blanco, Forbes, 20 May 2021 The campsite, a five-minute downhill walk from the main grounds, is steps from the San Miguel River. Stephanie Vermillion, Travel + Leisure, 9 May 2021 Two days after using their top pick on an electric downhill disrupter in Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, the Cowboys took a different tack to start Saturday. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, 3 May 2021 Eric Sinclair and Christine Phillips claimed victories by compiling the fastest cumulative times for four downhill runs. Anchorage Daily News, 21 Mar. 2021 Later, Antetokounmpo — one of the most dangerous downhill attackers in the NBA — had a one-on-one situation against 7-foot-5 center Tacko Fall., 26 Mar. 2021 What Came Before For decades, most other touring bindings kind of sucked, either on the downhill or the uphill or both. Marc Peruzzi, Outside Online, 22 Feb. 2021 By winning the most important downhill of the season, Kriechmayr presented the outgoing president of the Austrian winter sports federation with an ideal gift. Eric Willemsen, ajc, 14 Feb. 2021 The slick downhill putt tumbled in on its last turn, giving Korda the tour’s first 60 since Paula Creamer in the 2008 Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic. Jeff Babineau, ajc, 23 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Three Rivers Park District has gear for rent, including downhill skis, snowboards, cross-country skis, snowshoes, kicksleds and sleds. Star Tribune, 21 Feb. 2020 These downhill bike tours began at the summit of Haleakaka up until 2007, when the increasing number of bike crashes (and several deaths) led the national park to ban commercial bike tours within park boundaries., 26 May 2021 It’s not quite as much regeneration as the one-pedal driving mode selectable during normal driving, but enough to reduce downhill speed and boost battery charging to offset the extra drain towing uphill. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, 20 May 2021 The tough course features a long uphill drag out of the starting gates, a left-hand bend around Tattenham Corner, a downhill gallop into the straight before an uphill finish. Rob Hodgetts, CNN, 11 May 2021 To be clear, Thibodeaux is still going to be a downhill defender. oregonlive, 6 Apr. 2021 Doaks is 5 feet 11, 228 pounds, and is known as a downhill runner who has the size and strength to pinball off would-be tacklers. Omar Kelly,, 14 May 2021 And one of his Olympic gold medals was in combination, where one race is downhill and a second one slalom. Christian Stadler, Forbes, 13 May 2021 Angry and physical downhill runner who can slash his way to the second level. USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2021

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


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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Learn More About downhill

Time Traveler for downhill

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for downhill

Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Downhill.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for downhill



English Language Learners Definition of downhill

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: toward the bottom of a hill or mountain
: toward a worse state



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

: a downhill skiing race



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


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


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