Main definitions of down in English

: down1down2down3

down1

adverb

  • 1Toward or in a lower place or position, especially to or on the ground or another surface.

    ‘she looked down’
    ‘the sun started to go down’
    ‘he put his glass down’
    ‘she flicked the switch up and down’
    ‘he swung the ax to chop down the tree’
    • ‘Look out here for a smaller path, dropping down towards a wall on the right.’
    • ‘A woman, seen from above, seated in the balcony of a theatre, in her turn looks down on the spectacle below.’
    • ‘Then one of the two warders threw the case down at his feet and slammed the door shut.’
    • ‘Large pine trees were left standing but smaller silver birch and beech trees were chopped down.’
    • ‘He turned sharply racing through on goal only to be pulled down just short of the penalty area.’
    • ‘Morgan stood up and walked over to the buffet table and looked down at the food.’
    • ‘When we finally put her bags down in my living room she started to cry.’
    • ‘The brick paving outside has slowly sunk over the years and no longer slopes down towards the nearest drain.’
    • ‘The youth knocked on his passenger window and asked him to wind it down.’
    • ‘It is believed he was shot down by ground fire as he attempted to gain height after the attack.’
    • ‘The trees, which have been chopped down, but not uprooted, have been replaced by new turf.’
    • ‘As well as causing an obstruction, he says the boards are liable to be blown down by the wind, which could damage cars.’
    • ‘She put the wine glass down on the ground and turned over to face him lying flat, her belly against his.’
    • ‘Savage put the drink down gently, closed his eyes and opened them again very slowly.’
    • ‘He digs his hands deep into the pockets of his jeans and looks down at the ground.’
    • ‘Mr Rogers said last spring he stopped an attempt by the council to chop the tree down and believed it was now safe.’
    • ‘Scroll down while reading each page and then when you come to the end just click to get the next.’
    • ‘I was sure he was going to kiss me, for he had placed one arm on each side of me and was leaning down towards my face.’
    • ‘Ashley stood on the hillside looking down at the devastation below in disbelief.’
    • ‘From there they could look down on the city's fine new skyscrapers and modern apartment blocks.’
    towards a lower position, downwards, downstairs, towards the bottom, from top to bottom
    to the ground, to the floor, over
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1At or to a specified distance below.
      ‘you can plainly see the bottom 35 feet down’
      • ‘He told the jury a rear patio was completely removed and the soil dug down three feet.’
      • ‘Armstrong and Aldrin had to jump nearly a metre down from the bottom rung of the ladder to the Moon's surface.’
      • ‘The objects from these sites were originally buried two to three feet down at the bottom of graves.’
      • ‘He said they set to work digging several feet down in search of the remains.’
      • ‘Vandals also dug two feet down into the grave of John Devlin, who died eight years ago.’
      • ‘The well here was fascinating with two donkeys pulling up a huge leather bucket from 100 feet down.’
      • ‘We were kitted out with helmets and miners' torch and taken 40 metres down to the pit bottom in a cage.’
      • ‘It is a good 20 feet down and the way he has landed has contributed to how seriously he was hurt.’
      • ‘The wreck of the vessel was located, 40 metres down on the seabed, later that morning.’
      • ‘The surface of the land has been cleared but the soil is contaminated several feet down.’
    2. 1.2Downstairs.
      ‘I went down to put the kettle on’
      • ‘Penelope will be down for dinner later this afternoon, assuming she has remembered!’
      • ‘Are you coming down for breakfast? It's half past eleven.’
      • ‘Come on in, son. Lindsey should be down in a few minutes.’
      • ‘Frank the Manc used to pop down from his attic flat with a bottle of whiskey and a plate full of samosas.’
      • ‘One gentleman has not been down at all to meet his friends.’
      • ‘I got up, washed and headed down to the dining hall passing the site of last nights incident.’
      • ‘I went down to put the washing in the dryer.’
    3. 1.3Expressing movement or position away from the north.
      ‘they're living down south’
      • ‘He converted hundreds as he made his way down into the South Leinster border area.’
      • ‘The Premiership boys use planes a lot and it would have been nice to fly down to Exeter but we have to work within our means.’
      • ‘The money down there is incredible compared to up here, but I'd play anywhere.’
      • ‘I'm sure he will go on to achieve great things at the club, and will one day be held in the same regard here as he is down on the south coast.’
      • ‘Katie slept the whole way down, or at least lay on the back seat with her eyes closed.’
      • ‘We had mixed weather on the way down, everything from hard driving rain to bright sunshine.’
      • ‘According to the ‘RailLinks’ pamphlet, the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire's stately home is down on the south coast, with nearby Bakewell on the Isle of Wight.’
      • ‘It might have been cold up north, but at least it was sunny - down here it is cold, wet and miserable.’
      • ‘I am currently down in Cornwall so do not have a Tale of Two Cities with me.’
      • ‘It was unusual for me to set off on my own and the journey down was strangely lacking in atmosphere.’
      • ‘Raffles and games on the coach trip down should boost the money raised.’
      • ‘They have a big industry down there, and a lot of Irish businesses go there to film.’
      • ‘We have to try and prepare as best we can and take the confidence from the win against Wales down with us.’
      • ‘A few days ago I ran across an old friend who is now living down here with the new wife and child.’
      • ‘All I had to do was get from Hampstead in the north to West Kensington and then down to the South Bank.’
      • ‘I moved down here from Hackney because I thought it would be a better place to bring my child up.’
      • ‘We are hoping to get them in the north of England where we are stronger but down here it is unlikely.’
      • ‘Oddly, my father is from up this way, but did move down, although that was 35 or so years ago.’
      • ‘Make sure you contact your ferry company before driving down for a Channel crossing this week.’
      • ‘She was heading down from the north and I was on a slightly earlier flight from London.’
    4. 1.4To or at a place perceived as lower (often expressing casualness or lack of hurry)
      ‘I'd rather be down at the villa’
      ‘I'm going down to the arcade’
      • ‘Still, I suppose I can pop down to the supermarket and be back within ten minutes.’
      • ‘But he does want to see you down at the stables when you're done here.’
      • ‘Then, after a light lunch, he would walk down to the university cricket ground to watch a game.’
      • ‘I met Jim Renwick for the first time down at Raeburn Place last Tuesday, and I was impressed.’
      • ‘Nobody wants to work on a Sunday but everybody wants to nip down to their local supermarket and buy their food.’
      • ‘I never knew them well, only meeting them on rare occasions down at the seafront.’
      • ‘Justin's dead smart, reads a lot of contemporary writing and is always down at the cinema.’
      • ‘There were four still photographers down at the Dallas police headquarters that day.’
      • ‘It was obvious he had some sort of talent for the game so I took him down to one of the clubs in Carmarthen, but they said he was too young.’
      • ‘Once they began to be sexually active they used to march each other down to the local family planning clinic.’
      • ‘The police have also been down and we have discussed the night in detail.’
      • ‘What I'm inclined to do is order some brochures from Roedean College and pop down to school with them.’
      • ‘A few months ago I helped Kev out with an activity down at the church his family belong to.’
      • ‘t wait to tell his wife the good news about a new system that they have down at the station.’
      • ‘The others went down to the local pub for a couple of pints.’
      • ‘He said he would meet us down at the club later that night, but he never appeared.’
      • ‘After many phone calls around the country, my local benefits office invited me down for a wee chat.’
      • ‘At night the restaurants and bars fill up with the chattering classes down from the city.’
      • ‘My mother used to drag me down here as an infant to see him on Saturday or Sunday.’
      • ‘She gave him a call, and he invited us to meet him down at Ohinemutu the next day.’
    5. 1.5British Away from the capital or major city.
      ‘there are eight trains a day, four up and four down’
    6. 1.6British Away from a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge.
      • ‘My friends are down from Cambridge and I don't want you to antagonize them.’
      • ‘To work on the Times had been a vague ambition of mine ever since my Aunt Nell, with whom I used to stay while down from Cambridge early in the war, used me as a messenger to take up to London on Sunday night the letters with which she regularly bombarded her friends and relations in high places, one of whom happened then to be the editor of the Times.’
    7. 1.7(with reference to food or drink swallowed) in or into the stomach.
      ‘she couldn't keep anything down’
      • ‘Shane took a seat beside her and she watched in fascination as he gobbled it down.’
      • ‘She is a slow thoughtful eater and I gulp my food down but other than that we had lots in common.’
      • ‘I wolfed my lunch down and caught a cab to meet Amy.’
      • ‘It took a lot of will power not to gobble it straight down as I prepared my recipe.’
      • ‘It sounds simple, and it was, but washed down with red wine it was sublime.’
      • ‘All the swallowing has made me feel ill and keeping anything down is hard.’
      • ‘Women who cannot keep food or fluid down because of vomiting should see their doctor.’
      • ‘Lo and behold, get a bit of nicotine down him and a nice cappuccino, and you can't get a word in edgeways.’
      • ‘Swallowing it down, he glared at the worker, who was walking back to the cooking area.’
      • ‘He looked like a bag of bones so we gave him some of our dinner and he gobbled it down.’
      • ‘After the gig I just drank it down, poured myself into a taxi and headed home to bed.’
      • ‘They will take a glass of treated water from the outflow pipe and drink it down.’
      • ‘I mean, imagine going to a buffet every day and having to wolf down everything in sight?’
      • ‘I am keeping my food down and this has led to my weight remaining constant, although by no means ideal.’
      • ‘He roars with laughter at the recollection as he tucks into shepherd's pie washed down with Chablis.’
      • ‘A bit of sun, a bit of wildlife, washed down with chilled lemonade and a wedge of juicy watermelon.’
      • ‘He ate the food down quickly and gave the empty tray to the guy that came by to collect them.’
      • ‘Wash all of this down with a $7 pitcher of Kingfisher and you won't be able to move for a week.’
      • ‘A Snickers bar and a cigarette washed down with a can of Coke doesn't count.’
      • ‘A huge pear and chocolate tart which we helped down with some freshly whipped cream.’
    8. 1.8So as to lie or be fixed flush or flat.
      ‘she stuck down a Christmas label’
      • ‘The back seats fold down but not completely flat and they leave behind a big ridge.’
      • ‘They wrestled it into the back of the car… we had to put the back seats down flat to fit it in.’
      • ‘James laid me down on my bed and went downstairs to get me a glass of water and some tissues.’
      • ‘At one point, in order to relieve the need to keep the Ctrl key depressed, a colleague taped it down with sticky tape.’
      • ‘His usually unruly mop of brown hair is now slicked down with a neat side-parting.’
      • ‘Rugs must be tacked down, not only in the middle, but at the corners and leading edges.’
      • ‘Her jet black hair was slicked down onto her neck and her eyes were sprinkled with tears.’
      • ‘Back on the warm sand, I lay down on my stomach, pencil in hand ready to write my short story.’
      • ‘Mud covered its broad face and one of the pointed ears was stuck down against the head.’
      • ‘First the gel to slick it all down, then the spray to mold and hold where you want it.’
    9. 1.9[as exclamation]Used as a command to a person or animal to sit or lie down.
      ‘down, boy!’
      • ‘‘Down, boy,’ said Carl, and Moose obeyed without hesitation.’
    10. 1.10A crossword answer that reads vertically.
      ‘how many letters in fifteen down?’
      • ‘People would be telling her to stop screaming as they were trying to solve 12 down on their crossword.’
  • 2To or at a lower level of intensity, volume, or activity.

    ‘keep the noise down’
    ‘the panic was dying down’
    ‘at night it would cool down’
    • ‘If more than one wants to go to bed early, then the group should keep the noise levels down.’
    • ‘There are others with a genetic make up which allows them to keep the blood alcohol level down in their blood.’
    • ‘Having lost all TV signals on Friday night, I had unplugged it to let it cool down.’
    • ‘House burglaries were down from four to one although burglary of other properties was up from four to five.’
    • ‘I got there late, when most of the activity had died down and the light was beginning to go.’
    • ‘This year's event was blessed with warm weather and although attendance was down on last year, it still attracted around 2,000 visitors.’
    • ‘It includes a poster and flyer campaign urging drinkers not to cause trouble and to keep the noise down, or else.’
    • ‘It was assumed that the pressure on taxation would be up rather than down.’
    • ‘The bonnet was hot and the engine was making a clicking sound as it cooled down, she said.’
    • ‘Although injuries and accidents were down on previous years, 78 people were arrested for drink-driving over Christmas and New Year, compared with 62 in 2001.’
    • ‘Officers believe the mild weather over the festive season helped keep the number of road casualties down.’
    • ‘Mr Khelifi was listening to music on his laptop computer and was asked to turn the volume down by airport staff.’
    • ‘We sat around drinking and not smoking until she phoned upstairs and asked him to keep the noise down.’
    • ‘As the noise levels grew again, two women came in from the bar area and the whole place quietened down again.’
    • ‘Police have warned householders to keep their homes more secure to keep crime levels down.’
    • ‘Club bosses have already turned the volume down and assured residents they would monitor noise levels.’
    • ‘The party was still in full swing at two in the morning and showed no signs of dying down.’
    • ‘The high tide had gone down, but was still icy cold and high for the awakening morning.’
    • ‘Place the lid on top and leave the rice to steam for about 20 minutes, then take off the lid and let the rice cool down.’
    • ‘Keeping the ground squirrel population down is a precaution against humans and pets being infected.’
    1. 2.1To or at a lower price, value, or rank.
      ‘output was down by 20 percent’
      ‘soup is down from 59 cents to 49 cents’
      • ‘But recently they have been shocked to see their bank balances going up rather than down.’
      • ‘Such players would not be able to force down wages or conditions through the threat of relocation.’
      • ‘One student at the school had his work remarked and his grade revised down by 35 per cent.’
      • ‘So, you'd think that we'd all do our best to keep our mortgage bills down, wouldn't you?’
      • ‘Earnings per share were down from 14 cents to three cents this year.’
      • ‘Such subsidies can often lead to over production, which in turn forces prices down.’
      • ‘However, high demand for the shares has pushed the price up - and the dividend yield down.’
      • ‘These shares are down 40 percent from the mid 1980s.’
      • ‘This bill will help to keep compliance costs down, rather than the reverse of that.’
      • ‘The euro has depreciated against the dollar and the dollar has gone down against the rupee.’
      • ‘Ms Foley said it was now clear that public and media pressure had paid off in keeping the prices down.’
      • ‘My latest statement shows that it is now worth less than I have paid in so far, because the unit price has gone down.’
      • ‘Governments thus have a choice. Get their growth rates up or get their spending levels down.’
      • ‘This in turn kept the price of newspapers down and increased circulation.’
      • ‘Maybe this explains why undergraduate admission numbers are down in many departments.’
      • ‘Out of the cities, it is more difficult both to keep prices down and to source quality ingredients.’
      • ‘Milk prices are down and the rural economy is still reeling from the after-effects of foot and mouth.’
      • ‘Economists seem to be split in their views of whether rates will go up or down after the general election.’
      • ‘Even if your portfolio value is down now, you'll only suffer a loss if you cash it in.’
      • ‘Prices are down slightly this week, because demand is still on the low side.’
    2. 2.2To a finer consistency, a smaller amount or size, or a simpler or more basic state.
      ‘I must slim down a bit’
      ‘a formal statement that can't be edited down’
      ‘thin down an oil-based paint with spirits’
      • ‘Sure, there have been times when the organisation got fat and it was necessary to slim down.’
      • ‘So now I do these songs, five, six, seven minutes long, and I'm not going to edit them down.’
      • ‘One option would be to paint the wall with a lime wash thinned down to an almost watery consistency.’
      • ‘She said her weight loss had inspired her to get to work and help other people to slim down.’
      • ‘It would cut the size of your pages down by a fair bit, and be a bit easier to write.’
      • ‘Once the judges had whittled the teams down, each school sent just two teams to the main competition.’
      • ‘Back on the main track, the woodland thins down and there are vistas across fields to the Kirkby fells.’
      • ‘Surely the one advantage of this being on tape is they could edit this stuff down?’
      • ‘The sapodilla is usually eaten raw, though in the W. Indies it may be boiled down to make a syrup.’
      • ‘Deadline is next Friday and the list of applicants will be whittled down in August.’
      • ‘If the liquid is too thin for a gravy, just put it in a pan on the stovetop and boil it down to reduce to a nice consistency.’
      • ‘Dissolve the sugar in a little water over a high heat and boil the resulting syrup down to the softball stage.’
      • ‘The band has slimmed down since their last album two years ago, and Papa Noel is no longer in the line-up.’
      • ‘Those aren't the full articles, but I'll edit it down if you think it's too long.’
      • ‘At one point we had too many examples, and had to edit it down to a more user friendly size.’
      • ‘How on earth could he bring himself to do something as awful as edit his project down?’
      • ‘And overweight people have to decide for themselves whether they want to slim down.’
      • ‘Keep the movie's file size down - Waiting for long downloads is painful at the best of times.’
      • ‘As always, the interview's been heavily compressed to keep the file size down.’
      • ‘She had bought a gown three sizes too small hoping to slim down to fit it.’
    3. 2.3From an earlier to a later point in time or order.
      ‘everyone, from the president down to the guy selling hot dogs, is outraged’
      • ‘He had never been one for idle pursuits, and it was a trait he had passed down to Grace.’
      • ‘On this week's Lingua Franca he hands on some of the sayings his family handed down to him.’
      • ‘They also have a special skill that has been passed down to every generation.’
      • ‘I think it would be great to record the memories of older people to pass down to the future generations.’
      • ‘He also wants them returned so he can keep them in the family and pass them down to his son.’
      • ‘She also brought a Shelley tea set which was passed down to her from her grandmother.’
      • ‘I would dearly love to know where it is and have it passed over to me so that I can pass it down to my family.’
      • ‘Their experience of cooking Thai food is handed down from generation to generation.’
      • ‘However, equality was unheard of and land could not be passed down to women.’
      • ‘In itself, though, that gives you nothing to pass down to the grandchildren.’
      • ‘These people will continue to pass their attitudes down to their children and grandchildren.’
      • ‘It is not something which can be taught or handed down, one must be born with it.’
      • ‘Daughters cannot inherit the disease in this way but can become carriers and pass it down to their sons.’
      • ‘The clock has been ticking down towards the deadline and I imagine he'll be galvanised into action.’
      • ‘Amanda says that she has passed the recycling bug down to her daughter.’
      • ‘Now it was being passed down to Bill as he neared his sixteenth birthday.’
      • ‘A lot of the time culture is passed down to us by the advertisers, and the big corporations.’
      • ‘They were simply passed down to you by your elders like tribal law, extracts from some oral manual for living.’
      • ‘People can pass it down to their children and they can look back at their parents with pride.’
      • ‘This hardening in attitude is repeated across the town and has passed down to children as young as 10.’
  • 3In or into a weaker or worse position, mood, or condition.

    ‘the scandal brought down the government’
    ‘he was down with the flu’
    • ‘But in May the plans were put on hold when he was struck down with kidney stones.’
    • ‘Give us something joyful to sing, because at the moment you really are dragging us down!’
    • ‘He missed, and the Wilkinson boot, after an early failure, slowly ground Wales down.’
    • ‘He was just 13 when he was struck down with meningitis and spent 13 months in hospital.’
    • ‘Sad days when our only sign of pleasure is the hope of dragging Sligo down with us.’
    • ‘They tried so hard to break Park down - but met with tough resistance amid high tension and drama.’
    • ‘Both of us have been down with a stomach bug over the last week or so.’
    • ‘A couple whose baby was struck down with meningitis on their wedding day were today bringing their son home.’
    • ‘Corner forward Andrew Quinn is currently down with flu but his chances of making it for the final are much more optimistic.’
    • ‘His older brother found himself at the centre of the saving and loans scandal that nearly brought down the US banking system.’
    • ‘A SIX-year-old girl struck down with cancer had TWO dates with top pop stars on the same day.’
    • ‘Fenor, we know, will be back again as you couldn't keep a good team like this down for long.’
    • ‘With nine holes played it looked bad for Kilkea only up in one match, level in one and down in three.’
    • ‘There is still so much of the infrastructure that was created to keep the poor down that still exists.’
    1. 3.1Losing or at a disadvantage by a specified amount.
      ‘the Braves, down 7–6, rallied for two runs in the sixth inning’
      • ‘Two-nil down, Moor came back to level with goals from Mustan Ali and Neil Walters.’
      • ‘Hearts would have been dead and buried, two goals down with only ten men.’
      • ‘Even though we were three or four points down, we knew we could step it up and we knew what we had to do.’
      • ‘I had hoped that with him being four or so laps down that he would back out of it.’
      • ‘I think we were a goal down with about a minute left and big Welshy [Brian Welsh] scored.’
      • ‘At the sixth Scott had a golden opportunity to put Woods two down for the first time all week, but he missed from a mere four feet.’
      • ‘We were a couple of regular players down, but those that filled in did well.’
      • ‘At the moment we just don't look like losing, even if we go a goal down in games.’
      • ‘After a nervous beginning, when he went three games to love down, Borg found his range.’
      • ‘She retrieves the break only to go match point down in the tiebreaker when she makes a complete hash of a simple volley.’
      • ‘They attacked from the start, but went a goal down after a defensive lapse.’
      • ‘Too easily we were finding ourselves three or four nil down after half an hour against Celtic and Rangers.’
      • ‘This will still leave the museum about £1,500 down on the deal.’
      • ‘The guys did a great job replacing the wing and getting me back on the track, but at that point, we were four laps down.’
      • ‘They even had to come from a goal down twice after conceding an early goal and then going behind again in the second half.’
      • ‘When we went a goal down in the first half you could have heard a pin drop in the stadium.’
      • ‘Erdos was four laps down on the front-runners by the time he came out racing again.’
      • ‘But when you go to a man down you have a bit of a persecution complex and everyone seems to give that bit extra.’
      • ‘Four goals down with 20 minutes to go, Jock Nugent's side looked to be fighting a lost cause.’
      • ‘They simply sat back and let England make all the running, even when they went a goal down.’
    2. 3.2Used to express progress through a series of tasks or items.
      ‘one down and only six more to go’
      • ‘I think my body knows it's the halfway point of the week, with four shows down and four to go.’
      • ‘Nine down and six to go, Carlow and Naas are on track for All Ireland League promotion.’
      • ‘There is one down and two to go for Inveraray after their intermediate championship victory at Oban yesterday.’
    3. 3.3(of a computer system) out of action or unavailable for use (especially temporarily)
      ‘the system went down yesterday’
      • ‘Alas it's not sufficiently clever to hide it again when that app is closed down.’
      • ‘Register readers report trying to connect to the service for hours only to find nearly all its servers were down.’
      • ‘After a complaint to the Central Source in early June, the site was taken down.’
      • ‘She blamed the glitch on a software error and said that once it was spotted it was taken down immediately.’
      • ‘Canadian Tire didn't like it and threatened to sue him, so he took it down but still owns the URL.’
      • ‘Banks seeking to have phishing websites located in China taken down face a language barrier.’
      • ‘And not only that, but soon the entire network was taken down by a repair technician.’
      • ‘People lock systems down prior to test and as soon as test is complete the systems are opened up again.’
      • ‘You ring your Systems and Network people because the server has just gone down and you want to know when it will be up again.’
      • ‘The email company will see all the requests coming from just one or two IP addresses and shut them down.’
    4. 3.4Shouted to express strong dislike of a specified person or thing.
      ‘crowds chanted “Down with bureaucracy!”’
      • ‘A group of four men and women burst into a bank with a chorus of ‘Down with Capitalism!’’
      • ‘The protesters marched through the capital waving party flags and shouting slogans such as, ‘Down with absolute monarchy’.’
      • ‘It wasn't until her brother went to Europe on summer holiday and saw a U2 concert in Berlin in which everyone was shouting ‘Down with apartheid’ and ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ that it struck home.’
      • ‘One truck had the slogan, ‘Down with High Fuel Prices,’ spray-painted on a banner draped on the back of his cab.’
      • ‘The crowd broke into wild cheers and they started to chant, ‘Down with the government!’’
  • 4In or into writing.

    ‘I just write down whatever comes into my head’
    ‘taking down notes’
    • ‘He looked at me in surprise before quickly noting yet another thing down on his paper.’
    • ‘Surely it's quite easy to note these things down and then type them out.’
    • ‘One reason is the simple difficulty of writing down not only exactly what people say but also who says it.’
    • ‘Shortley after that you have a talk with one of the therapists to clarify anything you have written down.’
    • ‘Just writing this answer down will give you some ideas as to what you would like to achieve next year.’
    • ‘He was scribbling down notes as he kept running one hand through his dark, messy hair.’
    • ‘It involves you looking at all work activities and writing down how you are managing them.’
    • ‘What many children do is to note down what the teacher says and reproduce it for the examination.’
    • ‘That Monday, I sat down with two young people and we wrote our ideas down on paper.’
    • ‘Every now and then I'll get a moment of inspiration, but not enough to get anything down.’
    • ‘As me and Megan began to walk towards the door, I noticed that Lucy was writing a few notes down.’
    • ‘As he was recovering from his injuries, he started to write everything down.’
    • ‘I did enjoy the research but the writing it down and trying to put it into proper language was hard.’
    • ‘The answer, given loud enough for all to hear, was then noted down by the clerk.’
    • ‘Note down all the times and places you smoke, with a note on how much you needed each cigarette.’
    • ‘He even used to note down who sat in which carriage, and what people wore, especially pretty girls.’
    • ‘Take a few minutes to note down what you are looking for before you call, and don't allow yourself to be rushed.’
    • ‘Keep a food diary for a week, writing down everything that you eat and drink.’
    • ‘What follows below are actual notes that I jotted down during my day at work today.’
    • ‘I could spend the day noting down everything I did as I did it, and carry a digicam with me.’
    1. 4.1On or onto a list, schedule, or record.
      ‘I'll put you down for the evening shift’
      • ‘And it came just six weeks after Dawn Morris, of Great Lever, was told she could not claim tax credit for her son because he was down on records as being aged 64!’
      • ‘If you did not put your name down for one, but would like one, please contact any of the members of the committee.’
      • ‘Out of these, 434 have Newbridge down as their first preference.’
      • ‘Sergeant Major marks me down as being present and tells us to fall out to the softball field.’
      • ‘Some other retailers, such as HMV, have the date down as 6 June.’
      • ‘The nurse noted the visit down on an index card.’
      • ‘You see, the officer who stopped me in the City marked me down on his report sheet as Asian.’
      • ‘Also, as Richard Quinn is rather confusingly monikered T Quinn and Frankie Dettori is known as L Dettori, so Wilson Renwick is down on the racecard as K Renwick.’
      • ‘But if you look at my cv there you will see I have her down as my primary reference!’
      • ‘She said: ‘They did not find anything so they had to put it down as a sudden death due to natural causes.’’
      • ‘They also said he put his wife down as an author on papers she did no work for.’
      • ‘All those attending must put their names down in the sheet in the ladies locker room.’
      • ‘The problem was that you account for some reason when it was processed it was put down as a yearly account and not a 2 yearly account.’
      • ‘At one point one of them asked me why I didn't have my supervisor down as a referee.’
      • ‘Oversubscribed comprehensives are turning away applications for children whose parents have not put the school down as their first choice.’
  • 5(with reference to partial payment of a sum of money) made initially or on the spot.

    ‘pay $500 down and the rest at the end of the month’
    • ‘He says he will pay $1000 down and the remainder next spring when we give him possession.’
    • ‘She purchased the house for $89,000, paying 5 % down.’
  • 6(of sailing) with the current or the wind.

    1. 6.1(of a ship's helm) moved around to leeward so that the rudder is to windward and the vessel swings toward the wind.
  • 7American Football
    (of the ball or a player in possession) not in play, typically because forward progress has been stopped.

    • ‘The team likes his control and the way he is able to keep the ball down in the strike zone.’

preposition

  • 1From a higher to a lower point of (something)

    ‘up and down the stairs’
    ‘tears streaming down her face’
    • ‘Go through the gate and after another ten yards go right again, down some steps and through a metal gate.’
    • ‘The pair were then lowered down the rockface to the safety of a waiting inshore lifeboat.’
    • ‘I chose to ignore the lack of electricity and plumbing and the water running in streams down the walls.’
    • ‘After stepping out of the airplane, he did not immediately walk down the staircase.’
    • ‘I challenge anyone to listen to this and not sit there with tears streaming down their cheeks.’
    • ‘I went through a hedge, down an embankment and ended up just yards from a river.’
    • ‘Above us, waterfalls tumbled down the mountainside from glaciers that hung over the lip of high cols.’
    • ‘The wind is whipping around the building, through the cracks in the doors and down the chimneys.’
    • ‘Alma could only shake her head as the tears began to drip down her face and into her hair.’
    • ‘She also complained of a migraine headache but was able to walk down the stairs to the ambulance.’
    • ‘As you walk down the stairs from Professor Safi's office, a large window gives a view to the north.’
    • ‘He and I spent upwards of an hour climbing through tunnels and whizzing down the slides.’
    • ‘We had to walk down the opposite side of the mountain, but the view made it worthwhile.’
    • ‘In more ways than one I was glad to follow the track down the hillside, through the forest and back to the road.’
    • ‘It is popular with elderly people and young mums with children who find it difficult to walk down the cliffs.’
    • ‘The pair were making their way down another staircase when the explosion ripped through the building.’
    • ‘Rainwater came through the roof and poured down the walls at the height of the downpour.’
    • ‘After retracing her steps she discovered him in an alley with tears streaming down his face.’
    • ‘His response was to grab me by the arm and push me down the front steps onto the street, and told to go away.’
    • ‘Scott, who was at the front of the group, slipped down a bank and tumbled over a cliff, landing in the river below.’
    lower in, lower on, to the bottom of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1At or to a lower part of (a river or stream); nearer the sea.
      ‘a dozen miles or so down the Mississippi’
      • ‘Originally the Port wines were transported to Oporto down the River Douro on boats.’
      • ‘When we took a trip down the river in April last year, I was dismayed to see the state the building was in.’
      • ‘In 1999, on two trips down the river, she made a series of photographs of the waters in close detail.’
      • ‘If you're on a guided trip down a river by boat then lunch is a delightful occasion in the life of a fly fisher.’
      • ‘The speculation is that the builders used canoes to travel down the river and out to the sea to get the rocks.’
      • ‘Paddling down a river on a warm summer's day is great fun, the world drifts slowly past.’
      • ‘The ship made its way down the Thames to Gravesend and a last glimpse of England.’
      • ‘They will then set off down the mighty River Mersey on the start of their adventure.’
      • ‘They have a crane on top of that so it can catch any trees that may be rushing down the river.’
      • ‘It was holed, the theory goes, by a large piece of debris being swept down the river.’
      • ‘He says it was special to be able to travel down such a beautiful river that held his family's name.’
      • ‘He has never forgotten the time he boated down the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea.’
      • ‘We took a boat down the river Thames complete with riotous commentary from the ship's captain.’
      • ‘It enables them to see quite a distance down the river to the beginning of the estuary.’
      • ‘They then journey down the Mekong River, and then onto the Laos capital Vientiane.’
      • ‘Fast-food cartons sparkled in the autumn sunshine as they floated down the River Foss.’
      • ‘It was in that guise that he was captured in 1943, floating down the Mekong River in a bamboo raft.’
      • ‘There's a coast guard station a mile down the river.’
      • ‘The remains may have come up with the tide from the Humber or down the river from York.’
      • ‘It has stunning views down the River Necker and was on the doorstep of easily accessible attractions.’
    2. 1.2Moving or at a point further along the course of (something)
      ‘he lived down the street’
      ‘I wandered down the road’
      • ‘He lived a few houses down the street from me, so we saw each other and hung out often.’
      • ‘We who live lower down the road can use the 846 but this only runs every half-hour and is often full.’
      • ‘The speed with which his attitude changed reminded me of this man who used to live down our street.’
      • ‘If the woman who lived down the road from me when I was a kid could do it, why can't I?’
      • ‘Coventry was only a few miles down the M6 but it could have been half the country away.’
      • ‘Maybe up at St Giles, the street was packed, but further down the Royal Mile, there was nobody.’
      • ‘They certainly were for the two female donkeys who used to live down the road from me.’
      • ‘He lives just down the road and well and truly charms Carlos by describing him as super handsome.’
      • ‘Don't worry, he lives just down the road, so I can nip round for a quick fix.’
      • ‘She goes to school just down the road from where I live but I can't go and see her.’
      • ‘I have to assume in the absence of an address that he does not live down Warm Lane.’
      • ‘The Woods live half-way down the street, the big yellow house on the left-hand side.’
      • ‘He lives just down the road from here, so it's easy enough for him to come here and paint.’
      • ‘She phoned her boyfriend who lived down the road and he dashed to her aid.’
      • ‘In the fish supermarket down the road, two whole chilled cabinets are dedicated to whale.’
      • ‘He lives just a matter of minutes down the road and so would like to win at Queen's Club because it is his home event.’
    3. 1.3informal At or to (a place)
      ‘tired of going down to the pub every night’
      • ‘He was often up from London at weekends and I would see him down the pub.’
      • ‘That's all I'm saying this week, it's sunny outside and everyone but me and Rob are down the pub.’
      • ‘Darren is a down to earth, cheeky guy who loves his Northern roots and can often be found down the pub with a pint of Best.’
      • ‘Sure enough down my pub that night we had an overflow of people who had waited up to an hour in some cases to get served.’
      • ‘It gives people things to talk about down the pub or around the Sunday lunch table.’
      • ‘I bet a straw poll of the blokes in the office, or down the pub would reveal exactly the same’
      • ‘So, the day after you've been paid, what's left for having a great time down the pub?’
      • ‘What would happen if a newspaper invited readers to an editorial conference down the pub?’
      • ‘If I've been down the pub I can come home and stink of fags, which is horrible.’
      • ‘Well, your phone will be with you tomorrow, and then you can pop off down the pub and show it off, can't you!’
      • ‘Like many Keighley men Roger Nowell likes to have a drink with his mates down the pub.’
      • ‘After that we headed off down Gee's where we meet Chris.’
      • ‘Last year the race happened on a Friday so most people from round here were either working or down the pub.’
      • ‘If they want to spend their evenings down the pub, they should be in front of the bar, not behind it.’
      • ‘It is not as though they can pop down the pub for a quiet pint, or go shopping in Tesco's.’
      • ‘He still lives with his parents, loves Manchester City and a game of darts down the pub.’
      • ‘We might as well be down the pub if we're just going to watch these two get lashed up.’
      • ‘He talks to the punters on air like he does with his mates down the pub.’
      • ‘Most men his age would be down the local bar sinking a few pints and eyeing up the saloon girls.’
  • 2Throughout (a period of time)

    ‘astrologers down the ages’
    • ‘It has been a standard, down the ages, for those wedded to other clubs but never those who love United.’
    • ‘That holds true down the ages whether the heroine is Elizabeth Bennet or Bridget Jones.’
    • ‘The endurance of the generation of 1914 was one of the wonders of human fortitude down the ages.’
    • ‘But the heart of the matter remains the same down the ages, and the consequences as dire.’
    • ‘Judging by his work here, two or three films down the line, Alex Yang will come of age as a director.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, he'd love to find out how York coped with its own floods down the ages.’
    • ‘Good, reliable working dogs have been vital to the shepherding of sheep down the ages.’
    • ‘The best investors down the ages seem to have three essential attributes in common.’
    • ‘Almost all the big names in country music have rambled through its doors down the years.’
    • ‘The Creed states the faith in which men and women down the ages built their lives.’
    throughout, through, during, in
    View synonyms

adjective

  • 1[attributive] Directed or moving toward a lower place or position.

    ‘the down escalator’
    ‘click on the down arrow’
    • ‘The jet in question was prepared for flight, so its flaps were already in the down position.’
    • ‘I walked to the elevator and pressed the down arrow.’
    • ‘If you want to access a recently visited site again, click the down arrow at the right of the address box and select web address from the drop down window.’
    • ‘Compton, who turns 33 next season, has hit the down slope of his career.’
    • ‘We walked across the terminal toward the down escalator.’
    • ‘Ascending a down escalator, I work at 140 watts.’
    1. 1.1Physics
      Denoting a flavor of quark having a charge of −1/3. Protons and neutrons are thought to be composed of combinations of up and down quarks.
      • ‘The new results promise to yield important information about the up and down quarks that comprise protons and neutrons.’
      • ‘A neutral pion consists of a down quark and a down antiquark.’
      • ‘At this energy level, only up and down quarks, the electron and the electron neutrino exist.’
  • 2[predicative] Unhappy; depressed.

    ‘he's been so down lately’
    • ‘I'd always had bouts of feeling down and miserable.’
    • ‘She reminds you of your best qualities when you're down, to take the sting out of your woes.’
    • ‘It was almost impossible to be down with Jesse around.’
    • ‘On Saturday night the mood in the camp was sombre. We were all seriously down.’
    • ‘I'm not sure I would ever be, but I was feeling a bit down and reluctant to be there.’
    • ‘On the other hand, he's bringing hope to a people who are still down from losing so many loved ones.’
    • ‘Have you been feeling down lately about your lack of knowledge of quantum computing?’
    • ‘She'd given up smoking a few months back and put on a bit of weight and been a bit down about it.’
    • ‘If I had been playing badly, I would have been a bit down, but I wasn't playing badly.’
    • ‘A few players have been down in recent weeks but they can, and will, turn it around.’
    • ‘Hutt was usually ebullient but this time, he came to my office, and he was in a down mood.’
    • ‘Tanya Anderson said her husband had been a bit down because he had hurt his arm and was in a lot of pain.’
    • ‘Believe it or not he was still seriously down about getting dumped, which surprised me.’
    • ‘At the moment they are a little bit down but that's my job to pick them up.’
    depressed, sad, saddened, unhappy, melancholy, miserable, wretched, sorrowful, gloomy, dejected, downhearted, disheartened, despondent, dispirited, low, in low spirits, low-spirited, heavy-hearted, glum, morose, dismal, downcast, cast down, tearful
    View synonyms
  • 3[predicative] (of a computer system) temporarily out of action or unavailable.

    ‘sorry, but the computer's down’
    • ‘The website was down for several hours today because of a technical gremlin.’
    • ‘Our wide network system was affected by a virus, so our system was down until they were virus free.’
    • ‘I am sure they are all trying to email me right now, but the server must be down.’
    • ‘Plus we sorted out the train ticket which was a problem yesterday as the computers were down.’
    • ‘It looks pretty much like a server hack to us since every site run by Inter-mediates is down.’
    • ‘The website was down for a few hours earlier today, which is why some people may have had a problem getting through.’
    • ‘Most of the major news websites are down as they are flooded with traffic.’
    • ‘It was because my computer was down and I had to get it repaired and all that stuff.’
    • ‘She said their computers were down and that they would be up and running at the earliest by noon.’
    • ‘Our photographer was given an identical bulb for free by a garage because the computer was down.’
    • ‘She managed to get through once, only to be told the computer system was down.’
    not working, not functioning, not functional, not in working order, not in operation, inoperative, malfunctioning, out of order, broken, broken-down, acting up, unserviceable, faulty, defective, in disrepair
    View synonyms
  • 4US informal [predicative] Supporting or going along with someone or something.

    ‘“You going to the movies?” “Yo, I'm down.”’
    ‘she was totally down for a selfie’
    ‘you got to be down with me’
    • ‘North Square isn't perfect. It sometimes tries a little too hard to be down with the kids and comes off looking cheesy.’
    • ‘I got an idea how to make some cash. You down, Tuff?’
    • ‘One of the good things that could be said about the character was that he nailed the fake gangsta, wannabe rude-boy young British male who wants to be down with hip-hop really, really well’
    • ‘As long as you're good and you make people dance and laugh and have fun, they're down with you.’
    • ‘Prison ain't a nice ride, but if you're down with some homies you gonna be alright.’
    • ‘It is said that good things come to those who wait. Rishaud Raynir might be down with that.’
    • ‘After speaking a bit, I asked him if he'd be down with an interview, and he was all for it’
    • ‘Then we got our friend who knew Schooly to call him up, and he was all down with doing it.’
    1. 4.1Aware of and following the latest fashion.
      ‘a seriously down, hip-hop homie’
      • ‘There's a lot of people out there who are calling themselves rappers but they're not really down.’
      • ‘The main character of this painfully hilarious racial satire stretches to prove he's really a down white boy.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • 1Knock or bring to the ground.

    ‘175 enemy aircraft had been downed’
    ‘he struck Slater on the face, downing him’
    • ‘Many more Israeli aircraft have been downed by birds than by enemy air battles in the last three decades…’
    • ‘A military spokesman said the AH - 64 Apache helicopter was downed by ground fire in the morning.’
    • ‘The all-Polish Kosciuszko Squadron downed 126 German planes - more than any other Royal Air Force squadron.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, several American aircraft were downed by Japanese Zero fighters.’
    • ‘The blast - as well as downing the aircraft in which it is carried - spreads deadly material across a wide area.’
    • ‘The cause of the crash is still not known, but the U.S. Central Command says there is no evidence that hostile fire played any part in downing the aircraft.’
    • ‘Another was intercepted by a Spitfire near Newhaven and the pilot died when his plane was downed from the blast.’
    • ‘1918 - Signal Corps pilot LT Paul Baer attacks seven German aircraft, downing one.’
    • ‘The US squad has been missing since June 28 when rebels downed a helicopter sent to extract them, killing all 16 on board.’
    • ‘Two enemy aircraft were downed, the second being an RAF Typhoon shot down near Rostock on 4 May.’
    • ‘When maintenance finally downed the aircraft, it was an hour after the problem occurred and 30 minutes past our scheduled takeoff time.’
    • ‘On August 12, 1944, his P - 51 Mustang was downed by ground fire in southern France.’
    • ‘On one occasion, 72 Japanese aircraft were downed by Hornet pilots in one day!’
    • ‘His first question upon returning to base was whether he had downed a Soviet aircraft.’
    • ‘Up to 11 inches of rain fell in the southern part of the state yesterday, downing trees and knocking out power to thousands of people.’
    • ‘In October 2000, for the first time, FARC downed a Black Hawk, killing the 22 Colombian soldiers aboard.’
    • ‘On 5 July, flying near Evreux, he downed his 28th German aircraft and became America's top ace.’
    • ‘So far we've been fortunate that they haven't downed any of these piloted aircraft.’
    • ‘His Tornado fighter bomber was downed on January 16 during the first wave of air strikes in the '91 Gulf War.’
    • ‘Two minutes from time, Ayr were awarded a penalty when Andy Lawrie downed substitute Stewart Kean, and Bradford converted the spot-kick with assurance.’
    knock down, knock over, knock to the ground, throw to the ground, bring down, bring to the ground, fell, topple, prostrate, tackle, rugby-tackle, trip up
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1American Football
      Put (the ball) out of play deliberately by touching one's knee to the ground while holding the ball or touching the ball itself to the ground.
      ‘Jones downed the ball in the end zone’
  • 2Consume (something, typically a drink)

    ‘he downed a six-pack’
    • ‘She picked up her water and downed it before collecting her stuff and heading home.’
    • ‘On the one side there were a group of 18 men downing drinks at the bar, seeking the confidence which only alcohol can provide.’
    • ‘She downed her drink and grabbed two flutes of champagne as she walked in his direction.’
    • ‘After downing the shot she had three more and then half a bottle of champagne.’
    • ‘This is a cool bar, if you're ever in Sydney definitely check this one out - i even saw Craig David in there downing a shot with his mates!’
    • ‘Kayn simply laughed, and downed another shot as Serge walked away.’
    • ‘I was slightly tipsy from the two frozen margaritas I'd downed - quickly - half an hour earlier at Taco Milagro.’
    • ‘Bell downs his coffee in a few gulps, warming to his subject.’
    • ‘It is healthier to sip a cup of tea several times a day rather than down it all at once.’
    • ‘An hour later, she dragged me off the floor and downed another shot.’
    • ‘They had locked the door and downed the entire bottle and Ti had brought out another one.’
    • ‘‘She doesn't drink alcohol,’ Daryl said dully as he downed his fourth beer.’
    • ‘Alan downed his drink and poured himself another.’
    • ‘Mike downed another drink and motioned to the bartender for a refill.’
    • ‘Still chewing, Faulkner downs his drink in a single gulp.’
    • ‘It would be churlish to refuse, so he downs one, then another, then another.’
    • ‘I devoured the sandwich in a minute and Tyler handed me a bottle of water, which I downed in a couple of seconds.’
    • ‘Dan shrugged and downed his whisky.’
    • ‘He downed one more shot and walked to his room to go to sleep.’
    • ‘I didn't drink, but that was ok because Drake just downed his double shot latte and then drank mine.’
    drink, drink down, drink up, guzzle, quaff, drain, imbibe, sup, slurp, suck, sip, swallow, finish off, polish off
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1(of a golfer) sink (a putt)
      • ‘He hit a glorious drive and second to nine feet, then downed the putt for a 67.’
      • ‘Home with two mighty shots, Murray downed a nine-foot putt to be all square.’
      • ‘Randhawa…downed his putt from 10 feet short of the green.’

noun

  • 1American Football
    A chance for a team to advance the ball, ending when the ball carrier is tackled or the ball becomes out of play. A team must advance at least ten yards in a series of four downs in order to keep possession.

    • ‘But the Giants held the Redskins to two first downs on seven first-half drives.’
    • ‘A defensive lineman sees about that much action in one series of four downs.’
    • ‘That weakness should not be too great of a negative since the Texans typically do not use a nose tackle on passing downs anyway.’
    • ‘The offense has four downs to score a touchdown; the defense must stop the offense or get a turnover.’
    • ‘The Rams ran up 40 points, 508 yards, and 32 first downs.’
  • 2informal Unwelcome experiences or events.

    ‘there had been more downs than ups during his years at the company’
    • ‘Somebody up there appears to enjoy watching the ups and downs of my life.’
    • ‘Ups and downs are a natural part of the political cycle.’
    • ‘Productivity growth tends to follow and exaggerate the ups and downs of the business cycle.’
    • ‘The school has been through a period of ups and downs over the past year.’
    • ‘With it the French were able to conquer western, southern, and central Europe, experiencing downs as well as ups but winning all the decisive battles on land.’
    • ‘Hammond says, ‘Despite the team's up and downs, Zippy keeps fighting back.’’
    • ‘Next year, their stocks will experience more downs than ups.’
    • ‘I've been through so many ups and downs in my career.’
    • ‘Its fun being in college but like everything it has both its up and downs.’
    • ‘Meanwhile Dean Gallagher, who has had his fair share of downs in recent years, had the best day of his riding career in scooping the feature race, the Smurfit Champion Hurdle on Hors La Loi III.’
    • ‘Everyone, it seems, is following the ups and downs of the market.’
    • ‘I visited them often, through the ups and downs of their colorful lives.’
    • ‘By her account, success is made of weeks, months, years of few ups and loads of downs - a whole lifetime of preparation.’
    • ‘While the ups and considerable downs continue off the pitch, on it York City's stock continues to rise and rise.’
    • ‘‘I've had some ups and downs, in the beginning of the season a lot of downs,’ he said.’
    • ‘He was one of the first Americans to experience the ups, downs and pressures of fame in the public eye.’
    • ‘For after a season of definitely more downs than ups, City's long-lingering relegation fears were finally ended when all hope had seemed lost and with pretty much the last kick of the game.’
    • ‘We've had a few ups and downs along the way but thankfully it all came good in the end.’
    • ‘Logan has had plenty of ups and downs in his rugby career.’
    • ‘The UK hotel market has had its fair share of ups and downs over the years.’
    setbacks, upsets, reverses, reversals, reversals of fortune, downturns, mishaps, strokes of ill luck, strokes of bad luck, accidents, shocks, vicissitudes, crises, catastrophes, tragedies, calamities, trials, crosses, knocks, burdens, blows, buffets
    View synonyms
  • 3informal A feeling or period of unhappiness or depression.

    ‘everyone gets their downs, their depressive periods’
    • ‘The chemical depression lifts and you slowly start to become yourself again - with all that entails, ups and downs. I find now that with my new perspective, the downs are in some way enjoyable.’
    • ‘I think that my job in a way, as Jon's wife and companion was when he had his downs and his bad periods, to say the work is more important than the recognition.’
    • ‘There were ups and downs of extreme, intense depression, and extreme, intense joy and hope.’
    • ‘I have a wide circle of friends, a wide range of interests, and, apart from the downs everyone has, a pretty darned neat life.’
    • ‘I was into the… I have a right to do what I want, when I want… phase and so, I had a fair bit of downs too.’
    • ‘Yes, I love my life. But it's not perfect. I have my downs as well.’
    fit of depression, period of despondency
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1
      short for downer

Phrases

  • be down on

    • informal Disapprove of; feel hostile or antagonistic toward.

      • ‘Everyone in the press is so down on dance music’
      • ‘To be fair, we were down on Episode III from the outset.’
      • ‘I really don't understand why they are so down on her.’
      • ‘There's never been a telly in this house, you see, Tim is very down on the telly.’
      • ‘I am going to be accused of having a down on female drivers.’
      • ‘Over the years, readers may have gained the idea that the police in general, and London's Met police in particular, had a down on demonstrations.’
      • ‘‘Before I agreed to join Wigan, everyone was down on me and having a go because I was even considering it,’ he says.’
      • ‘He could tell Zan was seriously down on herself.’
  • be down to

    • 1Be attributable to (a particular factor or circumstance)

      ‘he claimed his problems were down to the media’
      • ‘Yet Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independent Party, disputed the council's claim that the savings were down to increased efficiency.’
      • ‘Police say this is partly down to a new system for how they deal with and record violent crime.’
      • ‘But what we still are not sure about is how much of our performance at Imola was down to circumstances at the track that day.’
      • ‘But the modest schoolgirl claims all her success is down to the most important person in her life - her mum Sonia.’
      • ‘The reason organic farming has such a small market share is down to two factors; price pressure from supermarkets which can make a marginal crop unviable, and lack of support from the government.’
      • ‘The Government has claimed most of the job cuts were down to falling pupil numbers, but the survey suggested three-quarters of the redundancies and lost posts were in schools where rolls had stayed the same or risen.’
      • ‘A spokesman for Columbus Direct, Britain's biggest independent holiday insurer, agreed that most claims were down to the customer's carelessness.’
      • ‘Phillips claimed that class was not a major issue because ‘less than 10 percent of ethnic segregation is explained by economic factors, much more is down to history and to choice’.’
      • ‘The reason why annuities currently represent such poor value for money - and are likely to do so for the foreseeable future - is down to low interest rates and other market factors.’
      • ‘While they are willing to admit that some teenage eccentricities may be down to biological factors, they believe pressures imposed on them by modern society are also to blame.’
      1. 1.1Be the responsibility of (a particular person)
        ‘it's down to you to make sure the boiler receives regular servicing’
        • ‘Meanwhile, Blackburn claim it is down to West Brom to make the next move in the wrangling over Neil Clement's proposed transfer to Ewood Park.’
        • ‘We all have to take responsibility for it because what happened was down to everybody - the parents, teachers, governors, and pupils.’
        • ‘We do not have a responsibility to the students - it is down to the council to provide transport for them.’
        • ‘Earlier the court heard that the final decision as to what was contained in the maintenance contract was down to the person operationally responsible for the building and not design services.’
        • ‘But TGM's operations manager Maddie Norman stuck to her guns and claimed it was down to the council to rescue the service.’
        • ‘‘The responsibility of logging incidents of bullying is down to the individual school,’ said a Council spokesman.’
        • ‘Pointing out that all such products carry clear age restrictions like those on films, they maintain that responsibility for censorship is down to individual users and their parents.’
        • ‘Whether that trend in carried forward in Southampton is now down to you.’
        • ‘A spokesperson for Burnley Council said: ‘It is down to dog owners to become more responsible.’’
        • ‘It's down to guys like me to pass on the flaming torch of knowledge to the next generation.’
    • 2Be left with only (the specified amount)

      ‘I'm down to my last few dollars’
      • ‘I was down to my last few dollars in poker chips when I made an astounding comeback.’
      • ‘So I lit up another cigarette - I was down to my last three by then, and at the start of my trip I had a fresh pack - and started thinking.’
      • ‘Even companies which a few years ago were sitting on treasure chests of spare cash are now down to their last few billions.’
      • ‘Defence lawyers say Rupert was down to his last $1,100 when the FBI approached him.’
      • ‘Bruce is down to his last 16 available players for tonight's game.’
  • down cold

    • Memorized or mastered perfectly.

      ‘a guy who has his art history down cold’
      • ‘Dion, too, has her routine down pat, leaving her house about 5pm, taking the stage about 8: 30, finishing around 10 and arriving home as early as 11.’
      • ‘James Garner has the friendly Western character down pat from his ‘Maverick’ days, but is playing even more tongue in cheek here.’
      • ‘No-one could really expect us to have it all down pat before we've even set the scene.’
      • ‘I get the routine down pat, so I'm free to concentrate on what really matters - comedy.’
      • ‘He's got that curmudgeonly Elder Statesman role down pat.’
      • ‘The night's star was unquestionably Nadia Turner, who had both the look and the voice down pat.’
      • ‘He has the glib huckster's speech patterns down pat, but his arguments are utter nonsense.’
      • ‘They have the programming and sounds of 1979-81 down pat but they mostly avoid the pop engagement that was a central part of the records Phil Oakey or Giorgio Moroder or even Kraftwerk were making at the time.’
      • ‘The screen roles, home videos, interviews and biographies all helped Rush to get the physical mannerisms down pat, and to recreate some of the iconic moments from The Pink Panther and Dr Strangelove.’
      • ‘He's got the whole ‘rebel without a cause’ look down pat.’
  • down in the mouth

    • informal (of a person or their expression) unhappy; dejected.

      • ‘When Rena visited me the other night, she was down in the mouth about something.’
      • ‘She seems to accept it though and isn't getting too down in the mouth about it.’
      • ‘Consequently, high street spending is likely to stay challenging as long as consumers remain down in the mouth.’
      • ‘Later on I learned that Steiger almost always was down in the mouth and, if he was in a good mood, had a wistful look about him.’
      • ‘If you were down in the mouth over something, he'd come and snuggle up to you and give you a kiss.’
      • ‘It is no wonder that the Government is a little down in the mouth this week.’
      • ‘It seems that City stockbrokers are a little down in the mouth.’
      • ‘Yet he still managed to find something to be down in the mouth about.’
      • ‘I was down in the mouth, feeling as though I had nothing going on in my life.’
      • ‘Watkinson said: ‘Against Essex we were up against a side full of confidence and looking forward to a cup final, while maybe we were a bit down in the mouth after losing in the semi.’’
      unhappy, dejected, sad, miserable, down, downhearted, downcast, depressed, blue, melancholy, gloomy, glum, dispirited, discouraged, disheartened, despondent, disconsolate, with a long face, forlorn, crestfallen, woebegone, subdued, fed up, out of sorts, low, in low spirits, in the doldrums, heavy-hearted
      down in the dumps
      brassed off, cheesed off, browned off, peed off
      teed off, ticked off
      pissed off
      View synonyms
  • down on one's luck

    • informal Experiencing a period of bad luck.

      • ‘Many of the papers last week featured the moving story of a young man who is currently down on his luck.’
      • ‘A couple of years ago I was really down on my luck.’
      • ‘He is down on his luck, for whatever reason, some of it almost certainly self-inflicted.’
      • ‘As popular as the Moog sound became, by the mid 1980's Robert Moog was down on his luck.’
      • ‘Peter Frost, the man who lived in a North Yorkshire car park while he was down on his luck, is building a new life for himself in Nottingham.’
      • ‘These guys are down on their luck, they're looking to make money.’
      • ‘But the sad reality is that there are lots of people from these parts who sadly, for one reason of another have found themselves down on their luck across many parts of Britain, but particularly in London.’
      • ‘When a side is down on their luck the small things inevitably stack up against them - and this was certainly the case for the Cardiff Blues.’
      • ‘David meantime is currently building his own house, quite a feat for a man who in 1997 was down on his luck and had just had his house repossessed.’
      • ‘Vera Nicholls could be forgiven for thinking she was down on her luck when she found she was set lose her job - then a bingo win came just in time.’
  • down to the ground

    • informal Completely.

      • ‘Sponsor Alan Ranger explained that the conditions in Poland suited Bolter's style down to the ground.’
      • ‘All of which will suit our approach to the game right down to the ground.’
      • ‘Perhaps had I been in better condition, the place would have suited me right down to the ground.’
      • ‘If you are interested in motor sport and would like to have a go, then the Concept cars will suit you down to the ground.’
      • ‘He had moved there from California in 1984 and life in the sunny principality suited him down to the ground.’
      • ‘It may be basic and have a lot of pictures, but it suits me down to the ground.’
      • ‘I've got three kids so it suits me down to the ground.’
      • ‘This may have been a rather heavy dish, but it suited me down to the ground.’
      • ‘I've found a villa in the valley that should suit Mark and Jo down to the ground.’
      • ‘Jim said he has always wanted his own place, and is sure that the historic Fossgate gem will suit him down to the ground.’
  • have (or put) someone/something down as

    • Judge someone or something to be (a particular type)

      ‘I never had Jake down as a ladies' man’
      • ‘Of course it was dramatic at this precise moment, but it wouldn't last long, and then we'd just put it down as a bad experience.’
      • ‘If it were just the arch alone, with no other clues, I'd put it down as a Tudor fireplace.’
      • ‘He speaks with such authority and self-possession about his work that I have him down as a young-looking mid-30s, until he tells me he is 24.’
      • ‘He obviously had me down as just another buddy to hang out with every now and then.’
      • ‘To be honest I'd never really rated him that highly and had him down as more of a ‘reliable journeyman’ but this season his performances have been nothing short of outstanding.’
      • ‘It's a surreal moment - not that I expected him to be strung out in the toilet, but I just didn't have Gillespie down as a tea-and-a-cake kind of guy.’
      • ‘Although the lack of sunshine may have kept away some of the crowds, the bars in the area can still put the event down as a success.’
      • ‘Next visit to the bookshop, I'm forced to bluff that I raced through it in less than an hour (in case they have me down as a halfwit capable only of gawping at household hints in Take a Break).’
      • ‘Clearly he has himself down as a bit of a Lothario and us as a couple of gold-digging harpies.’
      • ‘The salon owner really has annoyed me, as he offered no recompense whatsoever, he's obviously relying on the fact that most women walk away meekly putting the experience down as just one of those things.’

Origin

Old English dūn, dūne, shortened from adūne downward from the phrase of dūne off the hill (see down).

Pronunciation:

down

/doun/

Main definitions of down in English

: down1down2down3

down2

noun

  • 1Soft fine fluffy feathers that form the first covering of a young bird or an insulating layer below the contour feathers of an adult bird.

    • ‘This soft down is not a real feather, but works as a temporary covering.’
    soft feathers, fluff, fuzz, floss, lint, bloom, fine hair, nap, pile
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Soft fine fluffy feathers taken from ducks or their nests and used for stuffing cushions, quilts, etc.; eiderdown.
      • ‘I bought a down comforter to put inside the duvet.’
    2. 1.2Fine soft hair on the face or body of a person.
      ‘the little girl had a covering of golden down on her head’
      • ‘Every single women on the planet has 'down' on her face- in fact, it's what gives some women that 'perfect complexion' look.’
    3. 1.3Short soft hairs on some leaves, fruit, or seeds.
      • ‘Its leaves, which turn a deep crimson in autumn, are rounded and covered with down.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old Norse dúnn.

Pronunciation:

down

/doun/

Main definitions of down in English

: down1down2down3

down3

noun

  • 1A gently rolling hill.

    ‘the gentle green contours of the downs’
    • ‘From the village of Jevington climb steeply over the downs then descend to Alfriston, from where you climb again before turning south at Bostal Hill down to the Cuckmere Estuary.’
    • ‘I experienced a similar feeling one August night when we climbed the downs around Folkestone to lie under a meteor shower.’
    • ‘Having used the sprawling downs for a variety of purposes including grazing their buffaloes over the years, some of the Toda youth are now in the process of adding a new chapter to their chequered history.’
    • ‘Set on the northern edge of the Hampshire downs, Beacon Hill commands fine views northwards with defences utilizing the local topography to good effect.’
    • ‘The hills and downs area seemed remote and edgy, in a way far from relaxing.’
    • ‘Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act, which came into effect in 2001, the Countryside Agency is charged with drawing up a map giving public access to many mountains, moors, heaths and downs.’
    • ‘Owned by descendants of the original lessees who took up the station - sight unseen - in 1877, the famous black soil downs carry more than 60,000 cattle.’
    • ‘The county of Wiltshire is sometimes referred to as the chalk and cheese county, dairy products from the lush Salisbury Plain and sheep on the downs.’
    • ‘He added the last bit with a glare that went around the whole car, taking note of everyone's expressions as they neared their target, their faces growing grimmer as the flat roads began to move into the rolling hills of the downs.’
    • ‘The regions rolling hills of this region which are almost treeless like the downs of southern England, have their own quiet beauty.’
    • ‘The sky is broodingly grey over the humid downs of the Barkly Tableland as a mob of well-fed white Brahman cows and calves quietly shift across the green expanse.’
    1. 1.1Ridges of undulating chalk and limestone hills in southern England, with few trees and used mainly for pasture.
      • ‘But the mainstay of the county was the sheep on the chalk downs around Dorchester and the cattle in the vale of Blackmoor to the north.’
      • ‘Situated on a spur on the western edge of the Wessex downs, Eggardon overlooks undulating valley land.’

Origin

Old English dūn hill (related to Dutch duin dune), perhaps ultimately of Celtic origin and related to Old Irish dún and obsolete Welsh din fort which are from an Indo-European root shared by town.

Pronunciation:

down

/doun/

Main definitions of down in English

: down1down2down3

Down

proper noun

  • One of the six counties of Northern Ireland, formerly an administrative area; chief town, Downpatrick.

Pronunciation:

Down

/doun/