\ ˈdau̇-nē How to pronounce downy (audio) \
downier; downiest

Definition of downy

1 : resembling a bird's down
2 : covered with down
3 : made of down
4 : soft, soothing

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Examples of downy in a Sentence

the downy surface of a ripe peach

Recent Examples on the Web

Body check: Each summer, yaks shed their downy undercoat, and Tibetan nomads comb out and process the soft, cashmere-like fiber. National Geographic, "What is a yak?," 26 Mar. 2019 Never trust a baby chick, not even the most downy and guileless. Scott Harrison,, "From the Archives: Ella Zanow admonishes a chicken," 12 June 2018 Up in Montana, one of the earliest, in 2005, to erect fancy tents with framed art on the canvas walls, rugs on the wood floors and downy duvets on the log-frame beds, introduced glamping’s first three-bedroom, two-bathroom tents last summer. Elaine Glusac, New York Times, "Glamping Slips Into the Mainstream," 15 June 2018 Warm weather brings on powdery mildew, which covers a plant with a downy, white fungal coating that sucks nutrients out of the leaves. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Growing Peas Has Never Been Easier Than This," 31 Mar. 2017 The spots enlarge and are mirrored on the undersurface of the leaf with a white downy growth. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Grow Healthy Food By Identifying + Treating These Common Plant Diseases," 21 July 2015 At the base of each hair, the downy fur resembled the gradient pattern of quail feathers in an exotic ripple of gray changing to brown. Author: Christine Cunningham, Anchorage Daily News, "The plan was to get a pair of beaver mittens and learn a new skill. The therapy was a bonus.," 28 Feb. 2018 Rainbow,’ this time offering 4-inch rows of downy-white tepals and the same recurved, dark red styles. Earl Nickel, San Francisco Chronicle, "Grevilleas for the fall garden," 27 Oct. 2017 This dinosaur was smaller than the T. rex, but about the same size as the Albertosaurus and Gorgosaurus, which means that size can’t be the only factor that determines whether or not a dino sports a downy coat. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "T. Rex Was Likely Covered in Scales, Not Feathers," 8 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downy.' 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 downy

1551, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for downy

Last Updated

25 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for downy

The first known use of downy was in 1551

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More Definitions for downy



English Language Learners Definition of downy

used to describe small, soft feathers or something that resembles such feathers
: covered or filled with small, soft feathers or something like them


\ ˈdau̇-nē How to pronounce downy (audio) \
downier; downiest

Kids Definition of downy

1 : like small soft feathers The flower has downy petals.
2 : covered or filled with small soft feathers or hairs downy chicks

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More from Merriam-Webster on downy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with downy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for downy

Spanish Central: Translation of downy

Nglish: Translation of downy for Spanish Speakers

Comments on downy

What made you want to look up downy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a small bunch of flowers

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