downward

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

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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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Designed to protect against a stall, the system pushed the nose of the planes sharply downward in both cases, and pilots were unable to stabilize the planes. Tripti Lahiri, Quartz, "It’s looking increasingly unlikely the Boeing 737 Max will be in skies again this year," 15 July 2019 The increase in the amount of children exposed to homicides comes even though the city’s population is dropping and total number of homicides are edging downward. Peter Nickeas, chicagotribune.com, "‘Staggering’ number of children exposed to violence in Chicago; new study says kid population greater in high-homicide areas," 15 July 2019 Next, tilt your head downward, so your eyebrows look nice and V-like, like the 😠 emoji but without the frown. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "How to hold your head if you want to look intimidating," 15 July 2019 After the ball leaves the arm, there is only the gravitational force pulling downward (assume the air resistance force is negligible). Adam Rogers, WIRED, "The Awesome Bowling Robot Is Surely Fake. Here's How to Tell," 10 July 2019 But given the high-pitched rhetoric and ill will on both sides, the crisis could spiral downward quickly. Melissa Etehad, latimes.com, "Iran poised to press ahead with uranium enrichment despite Trump warning," 3 July 2019 Because the ground is frozen solid at a certain depth, surface water can't simply percolate downward. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Alaskan permafrost warming experiment produces surprising results," 3 July 2019 Attendance for the Brickyard 400 trended downward over recent years before it reportedly was set to increase in 2018. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "Dirt track ticket presales increasing, Brickyard 400 sales remain steady," 28 June 2019 The largest cryptocurrency had a furious run higher in late 2017 that culminated with a top above $19,500, before an almost-as-relentless move downward over much of 2018. Vildana Hajric, Fortune, "$11,000 and Climbing: Bitcoin Is Experiencing a 'Fairly Extraordinary' Bounce-Back," 24 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This scene foreshadows what will happen to Zhang Dong Ling (Jack Ko), a former cop, at the end of his own downward spiral. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "Cities Of Last Things," 15 July 2019 The killings, prosecutors claim, were the culmination of a downward spiral of their son, Grant Amato. Michael Williams, orlandosentinel.com, "Obsession, money, lies tore Grant Amato’s family apart. A jury will decide whether he killed them," 12 July 2019 Landlords cut back on maintenance of their apartments and hotels during the Depression, a lower class of tenants began to move in, and a downward spiral ensued. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco scenic treasure that locals overlook," 28 June 2019 The key reason for BSNL’s downward spiral is intense competition with private players like Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Once a monopoly, India’s biggest state-owned telecom firm is now broke," 26 June 2019 The only person in Westeros who saw Dany's downward spiral coming—besides Sansa, that is—was the Spider himself, Lord Varys. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Did Varys Try to Kill Daenerys On 'Game of Thrones'?," 13 May 2019 The only significant exception to the downward trend on warning letters is FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), which assesses and approves new drugs and polices existing drugs for safety and efficacy. Charles Piller, Science | AAAS, "Exclusive: FDA enforcement actions plummet under Trump," 2 July 2019 Michigan is not the only state seeing this downward trend in participation. Michigan Wildlife Council, Detroit Free Press, "Proposed legislation boosts funding for Michigan conservation efforts," 28 June 2019 This downward trend is all the more frustrating given that the capital – and other big cities like Liverpool, where teenagers are reportedly stabbing each other for money – is in the grip of a youth violence epidemic. Natalie Gil, refinery29.com, "We Asked Young People What Will Stop Knife Crime In London, Here's Their Answer," 20 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of downward

Adverb

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for downward

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for downward

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

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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

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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

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