1

downward

adverb down·ward \ ˈdau̇n-wərd \
variants: or downwards play \-wərdz\
Updated on: 12 May 2018

Definition of downward

1 a : 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
3 a : from an earlier time
b : from an ancestor or predecessor

Examples of downward in a Sentence

  1. The mountain streams flow downward to the lake.

  2. Mud covered his pants from the knees downward.

Recent Examples of downward from the Web

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

13th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

downward Synonyms

Synonyms

below, down, over;

Antonyms

up, upward (or upwards), upwardly;

Near Antonyms

aloft;


2

downward

adjective

Definition of downward

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

downwardly

adverb

downwardness

noun

Examples of downward in a Sentence

  1. Sales continued their downward trend.

  2. the downward revision of an estimate

Recent Examples of downward from the Web

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

circa 1552

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

downward Synonyms

Synonyms

bowed, down, downcast, lowered;

Near Antonyms

elevated, lifted, raised, uplifted, upward;



DOWNWARD Defined for English Language Learners

downward

Definition of downward for English Language Learners

  • : from a higher place or level to a lower place or level

  • : toward the ground, floor, etc. : not up

  • : toward people with less power, money, etc.


downward

Definition of downward for English Language Learners

  • : moving or going from a higher place or level to a lower place or level

  • : moving or going toward the ground, floor, etc.

  • : changing to a smaller amount or lower number


DOWNWARD Defined for Kids

1

downward

adverb down·ward \ ˈdau̇n-wərd \
variants: or downwards \-wərdz\

Definition of downward for Students

: 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

2

downward

adjective

Definition of downward for Students

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

Law Dictionary

1

downward

adjective down·ward

legal Definition of downward

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

2

downward

adverb

legal Definition of downward

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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

talkative or wordy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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