down·​ward | \ ˈdau̇n-wərd How to pronounce downward (audio) \
variants: or downwards \ ˈdau̇n-​wərdz How to pronounce downward (audio) \

Definition of downward

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : from a higher to a lower place
b : toward a direction that is the opposite of up
2 : from a higher to a lower condition
3a : from an earlier time
b : from an ancestor or predecessor



Definition of downward (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : moving or extending downward
2 : descending from a head, origin, or source

Other Words from downward


downwardly adverb
downwardness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for downward

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adverb

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Examples of downward in a Sentence

Adverb The mountain streams flow downward to the lake. Mud covered his pants from the knees downward. Adjective Sales continued their downward trend. the downward revision of an estimate
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Shovel Knight can dig left, right, and downward, but never upward. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 22 Sep. 2022 That sent stock prices hurtling downward, with all three major US indexes logging their worst day in more than two years. Alicia Wallace, CNN, 19 Sep. 2022 Until Beijing works up the gumption to intervene more decisively to restore confidence, the slow drift downward of the market—and the broader economy—seems likely to continue. Jacky Wong, WSJ, 16 Sep. 2022 The price of pork chops, however, rose little more than 5% since last August; and the price of tomatoes even inched downward over that period. Max Zahn, ABC News, 16 Sep. 2022 On the technology front, LED makers, sensing an unmet need, are adding dark sky–friendly, downward-pointing, long-wavelength fixtures to the market. Joshua Sokol, Scientific American, 16 Sep. 2022 Now, Chin is spreading awareness about strokes and recognizing symptoms, including loss of balance, vision changes, facial droop, one arm drifting downward, slurred or confused speech and headache. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 6 Sep. 2022 Now that the pandemic has prompted more workers to leave their locations but not their jobs, some companies — including tech giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter — have responded by adjusting salaries downward. Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times, 6 Sep. 2022 However, forecasters have revised the intensity forecast downward. Leigh Morgan, al, 2 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The greenback's breakneck rally as the Federal Reserve takes aggressive steps to rein in inflation is adding to downward pressure. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 23 Sep. 2022 The goal is to curb booming post-pandemic demand, slow the economy, and put downward pressure on prices. Rob Wile, NBC News, 22 Sep. 2022 At those prices, its dividend yield was a paltry 1.35%, and RA had its multiple shrinking big time in the years ahead, imposing downward pressure of on annual returns of well over 4% a year. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 22 Sep. 2022 That, in turn, should put downward pressure on rents. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 14 Sep. 2022 Moreover, recent downward pressure on some prices could become more pronounced. Justin Lahart, WSJ, 13 Sep. 2022 Saudi Arabia is also sending a signal to the Biden administration that the kingdom is prepared to take steps, like cutting production, that might preempt the downward pressure on oil prices from a nuclear deal with Iran. Stanley Reed,, 5 Sep. 2022 This is likely to further slow home sales and put downward pressure on prices. Anna Bahney, CNN, 1 Sep. 2022 If buyers aren't found, those homes could put downward pressure on Boise home prices. Lance Lambert, Fortune, 16 Aug. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of downward


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for downward

Time Traveler

The first known use of downward was in the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near downward

Down Under


downward spiral

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Statistics for downward

Last Updated

27 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Downward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for downward


down·​ward | \ ˈdau̇n-wərd How to pronounce downward (audio) \
variants: or downwards \ -​wərdz \

Kids Definition of downward

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: from a higher place, amount, or level to a lower one The company's sales continue to go downward. Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood.— Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol



Kids Definition of downward (Entry 2 of 2)

: going or moving from a higher place, amount, or level to a lower one a downward slope



Legal Definition of downward

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: going from a higher to a lower level a downward departure from the sentencing guidelines



Legal Definition of downward (Entry 2 of 2)

: from a higher to a lower level instead of following the sentencing guidelines, the court departed downward

More from Merriam-Webster on downward

Nglish: Translation of downward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of downward for Arabic Speakers


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