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

For weeks, Albert's health had been going downhill, devolving into fever and delirium. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "How Did Queen Victoria's Husband Prince Albert Die?," 4 Mar. 2019 Three of the four par 3 holes are significantly downhill. Brent Kennedy, baltimoresun.com, "The Woodlands Golf Course," 11 May 2018 The only term bigger than that is mass movement, the generic term for anything falling downhill. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Why fire-scorched California is now readying for mudslides," 30 Nov. 2018 The 1980 champion in Lake Placid, Leonhard Stock of Austria, would wait nine years for his first World Cup downhill win. USA TODAY, "Olympic men's downhill race is blowing in the wind," 10 Feb. 2018 The two seem shady and unscrupulous right from the start, and sure enough, things quickly go downhill from there. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Prospect is a stylish science fiction movie that puts world building first," 31 Oct. 2018 Experts on the scene tell PM that a fan from one of the engines was recovered in a catchment basin, downhill from the crash site. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Debunking Myths About United Flight 93," 10 Sep. 2018 Environmental officials were also reportedly headed to Bardstown to determine whether the whiskey had contaminated a tributary located 250 feet downhill from the storage facility. Michael Bartiromo, Fox News, "Bourbon storage facility collapses in Kentucky, sending barrels crashing to ground," 22 June 2018 The race has a smaller field, making organization easier, and a fast, net downhill course. Carly Graf, Outside Online, "How to Run Your First Marathon After 50," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Yes, a handful of mowers are all-wheel drive, built for homeowners who cut across washboard surfaces, sidehill mowing, steep uphill and downhill mowing that makes good of AWD. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Lawn Mower Buyer's Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Buy the Right Mower," 22 Feb. 2019 Skiing with an Olympic downhill racer is a chance to be in the presence of acute self-discipline, practiced consistently over time. Candice Rainey, Condé Nast Traveler, "What It's Like to Ski With an Olympian," 4 Dec. 2018 Frankowski needed 19 minutes, 36 seconds to complete the downhill — the 92nd fastest time in the field. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "Skiers put on a show in women’s Mount Marathon race, with Yeaton winning her rookie run," 5 July 2018 While there are better technical steep downhill trails north in Mount Shasta and further north in Ashland, Ore., both of those scenes lean toward intermediate and advanced downhillers. Joe Jackson, SFChronicle.com, "Redding is California’s secret mountain biking mecca," 8 June 2018 This intermediate 6-mile mountain bike trail is a fun, fast ride completely on singletrack through the forest, with more than 100 berms and long downhills. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "8 top trails to hike, bike or paddle in the Cable area," 7 June 2018 Enjoy 136 miles of downhill ski runs across four different areas: Stubnerkogel-Angertal-Schlossalm, Sportgastein, Graukogel and Dorfgastein-Großarl. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "This Austrian Spa and Ski Town Is Straight Out of a Wes Anderson Film," 11 Jan. 2019 Later, Vonn also missed a super-G in St. Moritz, Switzerland, as well as a super-G and a downhill in Val Gardena, Italy. Eric Willemsen, The Seattle Times, "Vonn plans return to World Cup at speed races in Austria," 7 Jan. 2019 Usually, Jensen is the better climber and Shryock is better on downhills and flats. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "With an elite competitor hot on his heels, Anchorage’s David Norris takes back men’s Mount Marathon title," 5 July 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

25 Mar 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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