down·​right | \-ˌrīt \

Definition of downright 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : straight down

2 : absolutely sense 1a downright handsome downright mean

3 obsolete : forthright



Definition of downright (Entry 2 of 2)

1 archaic : directed vertically downward

2 : outright, thorough a downright lie

3 : plain, blunt stories he had heard of her downright tongue— Angus Wilson

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Other Words from downright


downrightly adverb
downrightness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for downright

Synonyms: Adjective

abrupt, bluff, blunt, brusque (also brusk), crusty, curt, short, short-spoken, snippy, unceremonious

Antonyms: Adjective

circuitous, mealymouthed

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Examples of downright in a Sentence


The movie was downright stupid. It's very difficult, if not downright impossible.


rural folks are often known for their downright speech, as they are generally not ones to beat around the bush that's a downright lie, and you know it
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Many just downright love the show, even just a few episodes in and they're already hooked. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Twitter is Legit Freaking Out Over "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina"," 26 Oct. 2018 But as fans have come to find out thanks to the internet, a much more light-hearted (and downright hilarious) scene between Randall and Toby was actually supposed to be in there to break up the intensity. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'This Is Us' Fans Are Freaking Out at Producers Over the Deleted Scene That Everyone Missed," 10 Oct. 2018 The magical app takes your photo, and then finds your museum doppelgänger, and the results range from spooky to downright hilarious. Amy Mackelden, Marie Claire, "The Google Arts and Culture Face-Match That’s Taking Over Your Instagram," 14 Jan. 2018 If that sounds worrisome, zooming in on the weakest links is downright scary. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Prophet of Muni Market Doom Wasn’t Wrong—Just Early," 26 Oct. 2018 Danni Farley was downright dominant during the 2018 season. Wells Dusenbury,, "Palm Beach 9A-7A softball player of the year: Danni Farley, Wellington senior," 20 June 2018 Lloyd, who is running against Republican Jon Plumer, liked to take far-left political stands and make downright nasty comments about conservative politicians in her Twitter feed over the past nine years. Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bice: A Democratic Wisconsin Assembly candidate tried to hide old tweets. Here's why.," 11 June 2018 The race to be Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas is getting downright nasty ahead of the governing party of this state's convention coming up in just a couple weeks. Scott Braddock, Houston Chronicle, "Censure of Speaker Straus a major flashpoint in race to lead the Republican Party of Texas," 31 May 2018 Calley and Attorney General Bill Schuette, who is leading the polls for the GOP nomination, are engaged in one of the fiercest and downright nastiest gubernatorial campaigns in recent Michigan history. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "GOP governor's race brings out harsher side of Lt. Gov. Brian Calley," 18 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This onslaught of coverage comes with its downsides, though, like rumors that range from mildly annoying to downright offensive. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "7 Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Conspiracy Theories So Ridiculous You Have to Laugh," 18 July 2018 Then there is the downright weirdness of the state’s Republican leadership. The Economist, "Demography is not destinyBuilding a multiracial coalition is more difficult than it seems," 12 July 2018 The effort is downright Trumpian – a billionaire with strong views, a blunt message, and a taste for big rallies and engaging with voters. Linda Feldmann, The Christian Science Monitor, "A campaign for impeachment that’s downright Trumpian," 13 June 2018 The sequence is thrilling, but a scene that somewhat mirrors it in the sequel is downright eye-popping. Mekado Murphy, New York Times, "How ‘The Incredibles’ Got an Upgrade," 13 June 2018 These weddings have run from low-key to downright hole-in-corner affairs. Patt Morrison,, "After centuries of practice, Britain's royals figure out how to turn a wedding into a global watch party," 17 May 2018 Every so often there come certain songs with messaging that is downright tone-deaf, which does more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community. Jeff Nelson,, "Rita Ora Responds to 'Girls' Backlash: 'I Have Had Romantic Relationships with Women and Men'," 14 May 2018 The average high temperature for May in London is 18˚ C (64˚ F), so this past week has felt downright summer-like. Brandon Miller, CNN, "Royal wedding weather: an early look at the forecast," 9 May 2018 For the kids: Frequent guest Elton John's over-the-top bedroom is downright goals (translation: awesome). Priscilla Eakeley, Town & Country, "10 Trips That Are Truly Fun for the Whole Family," 30 Nov. 2016

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for downright

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for downright

The first known use of downright was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for downright



English Language Learners Definition of downright

: to the fullest degree : completely or totally


down·​right | \ˈdau̇n-ˌrīt \

Kids Definition of downright

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: really sense 2, very That was downright stupid.



Kids Definition of downright (Entry 2 of 2)

: outright entry 2 sense 1, absolute a downright lie

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Comments on downright

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


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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