downhill

adverb
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

downhill

noun
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

downhill

adjective
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

Things started out badly for him and went downhill from there. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Democratic Debate 2019: Joe Biden’s Faltering Performance Raises Big Doubts About His Campaign," 28 June 2019 Lava eruptions have occurred at the volcano’s summit since 2008 and since 1983 on its eastern shoulder at a crater called Pu'u O'o, which collapsed on April 30, and sent lava searching for a new path downhill. Lorena Iniguez Elebee, latimes.com, "The science behind the volcanic activity on Hawaii's Big Island," 10 May 2018 Alice McKennis, 28, won a World Cup downhill four years ago. Tim Layden, SI.com, "Aside From Mikaela Shiffrin, the Outlook for U.S. Skiing in 2022 is Bleak," 23 Feb. 2018 Find out what all the fun is about at one or more of a dozen downhill ski resorts within a few hours’ drive of Cleveland. cleveland.com, "From luge to bobsled to biathlon: Try Winter Olympic events at these 10 destinations, close to Cleveland," 8 Feb. 2018 The overflowing waste then spills downhill toward Base Camp and even communities below the mountain. Fox News, "Mount Everest has become an ‘open toilet,’ staggering amount of human waste found on its slopes," 24 June 2019 The overflowing waste then spills downhill toward Base Camp and even communities below the mountain. Washington Post, "30 tents abandoned by climbers add to trash pile on Everest," 24 June 2019 Don't think that things are heading downhill when something goes wrong. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for June 15, 2019: Happy birthday to actress Helen Hunt; Cancer, you can always change your mind," 15 June 2019 Turning to the west, the Grand Loop cuts across the Continental Divide (and into the Pacific drainage) at two different points before cruising downhill into Old Faithful Village and the park’s largest cluster of visitor services. Dan Westergren, National Geographic, "Yellowstone National Park," 12 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For nearly six miles of downhill bliss, check out Brown’s Creek state trail, which links the Gateway to downtown Stillwater. Kathy Berdan, Twin Cities, "It’s not over yet! 19 things to do in summer 2019," 5 July 2019 Spencer made waves last season as one of the best downhill drivers in the league. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "Spencer Dinwiddie trade rumors: Phoenix Suns, Brooklyn Nets trade speculation heats up," 4 June 2019 Johnathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report: Keldon Johnson of Kentucky Johnson will be able to put pressure on defenses by attacking downhill and scoring around the key with his signature runner. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "NBA Draft 2019: What if IU basketball's Romeo Langford is available for the Pacers?," 13 June 2019 Initial results this season were mixed but Stuhac underlined her threat ahead of the worlds by winning the downhill and super-G at Val Gardena in December. Steve Douglas, The Seattle Times, "Stuhec spoils Vonn’s farewell party at skiing worlds," 10 Feb. 2019 Shiffrin is the slalom master who is still figuring out how to let loose on the downhill. Michael Rosenberg, SI.com, "Mikaela Shiffrin Is a (Reluctant) Star in the Making Who Can Make Her Mark in Pyeongchang," 10 Feb. 2018 Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on the downhill, as this is a multi-use trail frequently used by hikers and trail runners. Heather Balogh Rochfort, The Know, "Mountain biking trails that’ll get you home in time for dinner," 13 June 2019 The Patriots reinvented themselves this season, adding a downhill running game that gave the offense more balance. Rob Maaddi, The Seattle Times, "Still no slowing down the Patriots’ dynasty," 4 Feb. 2019 For PyeonChang, Shiffrin has added speed events—the downhill and Super-G—to her program. Sean Gregory, Time, "31 Athletes to Watch at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics," 8 Feb. 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

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for downhill

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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 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.

downhill

adjective
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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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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