down·​turn | \ ˈdau̇n-ˌtərn How to pronounce downturn (audio) \

Definition of downturn

: a downward turn especially toward a decline in business and economic activity

Examples of downturn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The economic downturn spurred by the pandemic is only going to impact the industry further over the next few years. Julie Muncy, Wired, "Now Is the Best Time for Videogame Reboots," 19 May 2020 Burr and his wife sold between $600,000 and $1.7 million in stocks between the end of January and mid-February, just before the economic downturn spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "McConnell taps Rubio as acting chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee," 18 May 2020 Wall Street Journal Powell warning The U.S.’s economic downturn could last until late 2021, Fed Chair Jerome Powell has warned. David Meyer, Fortune, "Guess who’s Number Two on this year’s Fortune 500 list," 18 May 2020 As their strong quarterly results showed last month, the tech giants have the financial wherewithal to ride out the pandemic, even as some of them lose sales and advertising dollars in the economic downturn. Jay Greene,, "Big Tech was first to send workers home. Now it’s in no rush to bring them back.," 18 May 2020 Women usually fare better than men during an economic downturn. Sarah Chaney And Lauren Weber, WSJ, "Coronavirus Employment Shock Hits Women Harder Than Men," 15 May 2020 Cuyahoga County might see its largest decline in tax revenue in the past 20 years because of the economic downturn. cleveland, "We have a draft of Ohio’s plan for opening schools this fall: The Wake Up podcast," 14 May 2020 The state of Michigan's general fund is expected to face a $2.7 billion shortfall during the current fiscal year because of the economic downturn attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, the state's Senate Fiscal Agency said Thursday morning. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Report: Michigan faces $2.7B deficit, school aid gap of $1.1B due to coronavirus," 14 May 2020 Many families are also feeling a financial sting due to the economic downturn. Eric Rosen, Travel + Leisure, "Here's What Summer Travel Might Actually Look Like, According to Experts," 12 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downturn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of downturn

1658, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about downturn

Time Traveler for downturn

Time Traveler

The first known use of downturn was in 1658

See more words from the same year

Statistics for downturn

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Downturn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for downturn


How to pronounce downturn (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of downturn

: a situation in which something (such as business or economic activity) decreases or becomes worse

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on downturn

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!