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

Beijing had a handle on neither the amount of debt in China’s stocks, nor the scope of forced selling if the broader market tipped downward. Washington Post, "Relax. China Only Wants a Bull Market, Not a Mad Cow," 18 Sep. 2019 Pitches are often unstable, sliding downward to smear a harmony. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: World premiere and Beethoven on a boat disappoint in Hausmann Quartet concert," 16 Sep. 2019 State casino revenue peaked at $699 million in 2005 and generally has been trending downward ever since, hitting $269 million last year — a nearly 62% decline. Dan Petrella, chicagotribune.com, "State revenue from casinos continues to drop as Illinois prepares for massive gambling expansion," 12 Sep. 2019 Unable to absorb the massive energy, that floor would fail, transmitting the forces to the floor below, allowing the collapse to progress downward through the building in a chain reaction. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Debunking the 9/11 Myths: Special Report - The World Trade Center," 10 Sep. 2019 This economy’s delicate balance could be upset if either wage or workweek numbers trend downward, or if prices driven higher by tariffs crimp Americans’ appetite for consumption. NBC News, "Jobs report paints a mixed picture of health of the economy," 6 Sep. 2019 Tyrone Truesdell pumped his arms in the air and then forcefully flexed his arms downward. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, "Coming off career performance, Tyrone Truesdell ‘taking his game to the next level’ for Auburn," 6 Sep. 2019 So your job becomes to find a way to melt or blow up that ice, revealing a path forward that is also a path precipitously downward. Wired, "Gears 5: A War Game That Really Deals with War Trauma," 5 Sep. 2019 But markets typically don’t trace a straight line downward in September. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Good riddance to August but September could be just as bumpy for stocks, history shows," 3 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The chaotic, often violent confiscations triggered a collapse of the once productive agricultural sector and began a downward economic spiral. Washington Post, "AP Photos: Harare bustles as people cope with challenges," 13 Sep. 2019 Cattle herders resort to the few remaining trees for animal fodder, denuding the landscape even further in a downward spiral of desertification. Aryn Baker / Mbar Toubab, Time, "Can a 4,815-Mile Wall of Trees Help Curb Climate Change in Africa?," 12 Sep. 2019 There are often concerns that legalizing the leaf will create a situation that will increase youth consumption, addiction rates and, in some exceptional cases, launch society into a downward spiral of apocalyptic decline. Mike Adams, chicagotribune.com, "Are there any downsides to marijuana legalization?," 11 Sep. 2019 The nonprofit lost a bid for a city contract, beginning a downward financial spiral. New York Times, "A Fiji Junket, a Padlocked Office and a Pioneering Nonprofit’s Collapse," 10 Sep. 2019 That downward spiral probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "Wild captain Mikko Koivu expects to be ready for training camp," 22 Aug. 2019 Zimbabwe is locked in a downward spiral, fears Derek Matyszak of the Institute for Security Studies, a think-tank. The Economist, "Zimbabwe faces its worst economic crisis in a decade," 15 Aug. 2019 And as Mark drives his aging pick-up truck from one set of clues to the next, Coleman throws many shady characters into his downward-spiral path. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: San Diego has a dark role in a new noir novel by Patrick Coleman," 12 Aug. 2019 Drug and alcohol overdoses in Carroll County continued a year-over-year downward trend in August, with fewer overall overdoses than in August 2018 and fewer overdoses in the first eight months of 2019 compared with the same interval in 2018. Jon Kelvey, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Drug, alcohol overdoses in Carroll County continue downward year-over-year trend, data show," 7 Sep. 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

11 Oct 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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