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, 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

English soccer fans are downright giddy these days. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Proper Way to Bandwagon England at the World Cup: Bet Against England," 28 June 2018 Throughout his career, Neymar Jr. has sported a large variety of haircuts, some good, some bad, and some just downright ugly., "Man Utd Legend Eric Cantona Imitates Neymar's New Haircut By Putting Spaghetti on His Head," 19 June 2018 Oh, Nancy Pelosi is downright giddy that these things may back down or may break down. Fox News, "Analyzing Trump's history of tough talk on North Korea," 25 May 2018 Here in Ohio, that's probably best seen in a gubernatorial primary that is downright ugly – maybe the nastiest in state history. Jason Williams,, "PX column: This Cincinnatian is trying to keep a savage primary from undoing Ohio's GOP," 27 Apr. 2018 The same cannot be said of the downright awful mistakes Darnold makes at times — especially when facing pressure. Steven Ruiz, For The Win, "Ranking the 9 best quarterback prospects in the 2018 NFL draft," 24 Apr. 2018 Not to mention, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce excel as catch-and-run specialists with the kind of running skills that can make Kansas City's screen game downright scary. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Brett Favre's former teammate 'beginning to buy into the hype' about Patrick Mahomes," 2 July 2018 And many are hailing Cortez as a rising star on the political landscape but in reality her views her policy positions are actually downright scary. Fox News, "What Trump is looking for in his next Supreme Court justice," 28 June 2018 In an unusual and downright terrifying incident, one local resident went to use their pool noodles and found a rattlesnake and its babies tucked away inside. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Snakes Could Be Hiding in Pool Noodles, Arizona Fire Dept. Warns," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 But despite all the nice threads and upraised pinkie fingers, the proceedings can get downright raunchy here in the wee hours. Rene Rodriguez, miamiherald, "Think South Beach is crazy now? Here's what the club scene was like in 1994 | Miami Herald," 5 May 2018

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

9 Oct 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).


one that holds something together

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