downward

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

downward

adjective

Definition of downward (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from downward

Adjective

downwardly adverb
downwardness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for downward

Synonyms: Adverb

below, down, over

Synonyms: Adjective

bowed, down, downcast, lowered

Antonyms: Adverb

up, upward (or upwards), upwardly

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Another major crime category that has been trending downward is burglaries, and in particular, residential burglaries. Gene Balk / Fyi Guy, The Seattle Times, "The ‘Nextdoor effect’ in Bellevue: a familiar reaction to crime," 11 Feb. 2019 This week, two anonymous sources told Reuters that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering revising biofuel quotas downward after years of underperformance from the biofuel industry. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "EPA reconsidering biofuel targets after production goals are missed," 25 Nov. 2018 Bence, in response, revised the plan further downward to the 172 units allowed under the current zoning. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After long debate, Germantown's Saxony Village is opening apartments aimed at millennials," 6 July 2018 The Conference Board, a business research group, says that its consumer confidence index rose to 128.0 from 125.6 in April, which was revised downward. Matt Ott, Fox News, "Consumer confidence bounces back in May," 29 May 2018 The operator flies the drone into an enclosure, where upward and downward facing pins automatically pin the drone in place, creating a jail the drone can’t escape. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "A New UAV Launch-and-Recovery System Pins Drones in Their Own 'Iron Maiden'," 3 Oct. 2018 At very high altitudes still within Earth’s atmosphere, the weapons angle downward, gliding at speeds in excess of Mach 5 towards their targets. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "China: Our Hypersonic Missiles Can Sink U.S. Aircraft Carriers," 23 Jan. 2019 The banks stopped giving the company access to day-to-day financing, bankruptcy court documents said, and the business began to spiral downward. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Alleged Fraud Surprises Activist Investors in Shipping Fuel Company," 6 Nov. 2018 Preliminary data from 2018, however, suggested that the numbers may be trending downward in the wake of the Trump administration's efforts to curb the epidemic. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Senate approves bipartisan opioid legislation, cracking down on shipments Trump called 'almost a form of warfare'," 18 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Edmunds analysts expect this downward trend to continue this year. Matt Jones, The Seattle Times, "Edmunds: Black Friday isn’t what it used to be in car sales," 14 Nov. 2018 Her downward spiral echoes those of real-life pop stars including Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Amy Winehouse. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, "Natalie Portman and Sia-Composed Songs Stole the Show at Last Night’s Premiere for Vox Lux," 14 Dec. 2018 But the steady downward trajectory suggests that the insane price increases of late 2017 and early 2018 are over. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Declining cryptocurrency prices are making graphics cards affordable again," 23 July 2018 The good news is, however, that cases for this year appear to have peaked, meaning the condition is hopefully on a downward trend for the rest of the season. Josephine Yurcaba, Teen Vogue, "What to Know About AFM, the Polio-Like Illness Spreading Among Kids," 4 Dec. 2018 But 2018 seems to be continuing 2016's downward trend. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Trump tried to rescue coal. Instead, coal capacity retirements doubled in 2018," 29 Nov. 2018 But this decline is consistent with a longer-term downward trend in food-stamp usage because of an improving economy. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "Fact-checking Trump’s week of economic and other fictions," 13 Aug. 2018 Take the example of A Star Is Born, Bradley Cooper’s spin on the venerable story of a man on the downward slope of stardom falling in love with a woman ascending to its stratosphere. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "It looks like the Oscars are going to nominate a bunch of big hits for Best Picture," 30 Nov. 2018 Greater corporate investment offset downward revisions in spending by state and local governments and consumers. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "US economy grew at brisk 3.5 pct. annual rate last quarter," 28 Nov. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of downward

Adverb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

circa 1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about downward

Statistics for downward

Last Updated

1 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for downward

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for downward

downward

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of downward

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of downward (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

adverb
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

downward

adjective

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

downward

adjective
down·​ward

Legal Definition of downward

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

downward

adverb

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on downward

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for downward

Spanish Central: Translation of downward

Nglish: Translation of downward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of downward for Arabic Speakers

Comments on downward

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the range of authority or knowledge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!