\ˈdau̇-nē \
downier; downiest

Definition of downy 

1 : resembling a bird's down

2 : covered with down

3 : made of down

4 : soft, soothing

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of downy in a Sentence

the downy surface of a ripe peach

Recent Examples on the Web

Never trust a baby chick, not even the most downy and guileless. Scott Harrison,, "From the Archives: Ella Zanow admonishes a chicken," 12 June 2018 Up in Montana, one of the earliest, in 2005, to erect fancy tents with framed art on the canvas walls, rugs on the wood floors and downy duvets on the log-frame beds, introduced glamping’s first three-bedroom, two-bathroom tents last summer. Elaine Glusac, New York Times, "Glamping Slips Into the Mainstream," 15 June 2018 Warm weather brings on powdery mildew, which covers a plant with a downy, white fungal coating that sucks nutrients out of the leaves. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Growing Peas Has Never Been Easier Than This," 31 Mar. 2017 The spots enlarge and are mirrored on the undersurface of the leaf with a white downy growth. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Grow Healthy Food By Identifying + Treating These Common Plant Diseases," 21 July 2015 At the base of each hair, the downy fur resembled the gradient pattern of quail feathers in an exotic ripple of gray changing to brown. Author: Christine Cunningham, Anchorage Daily News, "The plan was to get a pair of beaver mittens and learn a new skill. The therapy was a bonus.," 28 Feb. 2018 Rainbow,’ this time offering 4-inch rows of downy-white tepals and the same recurved, dark red styles. Earl Nickel, San Francisco Chronicle, "Grevilleas for the fall garden," 27 Oct. 2017 This dinosaur was smaller than the T. rex, but about the same size as the Albertosaurus and Gorgosaurus, which means that size can’t be the only factor that determines whether or not a dino sports a downy coat. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "T. Rex Was Likely Covered in Scales, Not Feathers," 8 June 2017 Mr. Quesne, a French theatermaker and visual artist, has fashioned a downy winter landscape at the Kitchen and populated it with a hatchback full of chip-eating, beer-drinking, AC/DC-loving hard rockers. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Subscribe to the Theater Newsletter," 11 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downy.' 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 downy

1578, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about downy

Statistics for downy

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for downy

The first known use of downy was in 1578

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for downy



English Language Learners Definition of downy

—used to describe small, soft feathers or something that resembles such feathers

: covered or filled with small, soft feathers or something like them


\ˈdau̇-nē \
downier; downiest

Kids Definition of downy

1 : like small soft feathers The flower has downy petals.

2 : covered or filled with small soft feathers or hairs downy chicks

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on downy

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


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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