top-down

adjective
\ ˈtäp-ˈdau̇n How to pronounce top-down (audio) \

Definition of top-down

1 : controlled, directed, or instituted from the top level a top-down corporate structure
2 : proceeding by breaking large general aspects (as of a problem) into smaller more detailed constituents : working from the general to the specific top-down programming top-down design

First Known Use of top-down

1941, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for top-down

from the phrase from the top down

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about top-down

Time Traveler for top-down

Time Traveler

The first known use of top-down was in 1941

See more words from the same year

Statistics for top-down

Cite this Entry

“Top-down.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/top-down. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for top-down

top-down

adjective
How to pronounce top-down (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of top-down

: controlled or directed from the highest levels
: starting with a general idea and having details gradually added

More from Merriam-Webster on top-down

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with top-down

Comments on top-down

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!