Definition of downer in US English:



  • 1usually downersA depressant or tranquilizing drug, especially a barbiturate.

    • ‘Following a visit to the doctor's, she is on her way to dropping 30 pounds and becoming hooked on the uppers and downers that comprise her diet.’
    • ‘For me it's uppers, for you it's downers, but either way, it's the same thing.’
    • ‘If people choose to ingest opium, heroin, cocaine, crack, marijuana, or any of the dozens of uppers, downers, and hallucinogens in common use, let them.’
    • ‘I asked for the handful of downers and the bottle of Jose Cuervo, remember?’
    • ‘The quantity of downers he is alleged to have taken would really disrupt his coordination, making it almost impossible for him to play golf as well as he does.’
    • ‘Cocaine made you feel confident and optimistic; downers made you feel relaxed and carefree.’
    • ‘Simply banning downers will not fix the problem.’
    • ‘Girls were significantly more likely to have used heroin, PCP, anti-anxiety drugs (used without a prescription), such as Valium or Xanax, and downers.’
    • ‘Sorry if i sound like I'm on a downer, i didn't get a lot of sleep last night.’
    • ‘My problem wasn't all that exciting; I hadn't been swallowed up by the underground rave scene, nor was I addicted to uppers, downers, or even over-the-counter nasal sprays.’
    • ‘I'd used downers for a good few years - I'd been addicted to heroin for ten years - and I was sick of it.’
    • ‘People with bipolar disorder often go undiagnosed for years; many end up self-medicating with booze or illicit drugs - downers mostly, because they help control, if you can call it that, the manic swings of the disorder.’
    • ‘Some people are getting heavy into downers - Reds, Quaaludes, Valiums - and others are gobbling speed, booze, Maalox and other strange medications with fearsome regularity.’
    • ‘So-called benzos - benzodiazepines include prescription downers such as Valium and Xanax - are commonly mixed with methadone.’
    • ‘They also had about half of the pharmacy at home - as far as mental drugs, mostly downers, are concerned and that was something like a magnet to me, a little private pharmacy.’
    • ‘Behind the scenes, of course, Elvis's descent was intensifying at rapid speed, helped along by a dependence on uppers, downers and painkillers.’
    • ‘That's one of the best properties of downers, you don't worry much.’
    • ‘He goes through an average week for a touring rock band with a timetable that makes taking stimulants a necessity and taking downers and alcohol the only way to relax.’
    • ‘It should never be used at the same time as any other depressant such as downers, alcohol, GHB, or sedatives.’
    • ‘I think they're downers, but the opposing argument is, how can you be ‘hopped up’ on a downer?’
  • 2A dispiriting or depressing experience or factor.

    ‘the thought of the danger his son was in put something of a downer on the situation’
    • ‘The only downer was the trio of uninspiring veg which came with all the main courses and a blanket ban on chips: no one wants new potatoes with a steak, but they promise that a new kitchen by Easter will sort that.’
    • ‘At least two of the three stories presented could be considered to be downers, so if you're looking for a feel-good experience only, I'd look elsewhere.’
    • ‘I don't think that put a downer on his night though.’
    • ‘It's good, and nowhere near the downer I though thought it would be,’
    • ‘The only downer was that the durian we bought was an utter disappointment - durian smells bad, sure, but it shouldn't taste like a combination of joggers' socks and onions.’
    • ‘In fact, I can't quite make up mind about which city do I like more, but yeah, the prohibitive cost of having a roof over your head is a total downer.’
    • ‘‘Aliens’ is my favorite military and sci-fi movie, but it's a downer and doesn't compare well the aforementioned films.’
    • ‘So I was pretty careful to make sure that aspect of it was shown and not make the whole thing a big downer.’
    • ‘Despite all these insurmountable setbacks, this movie is not a complete downer.’
    • ‘It's put a bit of a downer on Christmas - we don't know if we'll have a job when we go back.’
    • ‘Amidst a plethora of depressing statistics, perhaps the biggest downer is the fact that, for the first time since 1986, no Scot won an event on the European Tour.’
    • ‘A number of the stories are downers in which Faustian bargains of one kind or another produce predictable results.’
    • ‘Whether you're the warm and fuzzy sort or you're like me, and find enforced jollity a serious downer, it's hard to avoid contemplating hearth and home and the ghosts of Christmas past at this time of year.’
    • ‘While I enjoyed Breach, I found the melancholy style of the Wallflowers to be a bit of a downer and even the occasional upbeat rhythm isn't enough to make it any less gloomy.’
    • ‘I dig this show, but like any other series, it has its share of downers.’
    • ‘‘I was on a total downer, blaming other people for my own situation,’ he has said.’
    • ‘Yeah, some episodes are downers, but I suppose that might be the point.’
    • ‘‘I don't want to bring a downer on the whole situation because I'm very happy for the Boston Red Sox’ he said.’
    • ‘The only downer of the day was experiencing my first Go Gel, which I gulped down after four and a half miles.’
    • ‘The only downer was the visibility (not great) and the fact that there was no north-facing view, ie up towards the Empire State building, Midtown and so on.’
    1. 2.1 A period of consistent failure.
      ‘the Red Sox enter the season on a downer’
      • ‘People seem to think that players are on a downer because they might not be allowed to go up, but they just don't think like that.’
      • ‘The 2001 season was something of a downer for him.’
      • ‘While he leaves on a downer, it would be unfair to disregard his achievements.’
      • ‘I wouldn't have gone out on a downer, believe me.’
      • ‘All sports are cyclical and when you are on a downer, it only makes it all the better and more exciting when you are back up there again.’
      • ‘Ever since he sided with him, Andrew's been on a downer.’
      • ‘But after such a downer last week, you would expect nothing but a fired-up Essendon tonight and they proved against the West Coast two weeks ago that they can compete hard against a stronger side.’
      • ‘But I would be on a downer if we were playing badly.’
      • ‘Despite his goals and the win, Lampard seems on a bit of a downer by the end; ‘We're a little bit disappointed.’’
      • ‘Guys who could have done a good job for the club had been allowed to leave and the whole place was on a downer.’
      • ‘Because of that, his 1999 total of seven wins, seven poles, and a sixth-place finish in points was considered something of a downer.’
  • 3A cow or other animal that is sick or injured and cannot get to its feet unaided.

    • ‘Two weeks later, USDA claims the animal was a downer despite an already clear line of established evidence to the contrary.’
    • ‘The packers simply wanted to make more money despite the threat downer cows present to public health, he noted.’
    • ‘The USDA started testing downers because they didn't think they would find any BSE cows in that mess.’
    • ‘Effectively immediately, she said, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will ban all downer cattle from the human food chain.’
    • ‘A ban on butchering downer cows - animals that stagger, can't walk, or exhibit other signs of BSE-will make no difference, either.’
    • ‘For example, they've agreed to take all downers, cattle that can't walk, for any reason, out of the food supply, so if a cow sprains its ankle, it can't be used as food.’
    • ‘The US Senate last month approved language that would ban downer animals from being used in the human food supply, but the measure was dropped from a final bill because of House opposition.’
    • ‘When the USDA said no more downers would be slaughtered, they essentially said no more BSE testing would be done.’
    • ‘The fact of the matter is that if the administration hadn't blocked the legislation barring the slaughter of downers, this probably would not have happened.’
    • ‘Farm Sanctuary obtained USDA slaughterhouse records under the Freedom of Information Act, he said, and found that downers with hepatitis, lymphoma, gangrene and other ills had been passed by the inspectors.’
    • ‘The confusion may explain the discrepancy between the USDA's description of the Holstein as a downer cow and Ellestad's recollection that the animal was ambulatory.’
    • ‘USDA bans slaughtering downer cattle, killing cows using air injection stunning and automatic meat recovery systems.’
    • ‘The suspect animal was a downer cow, one unable to walk, so it never entered the food chain, Johanns said.’
    • ‘The first U.S. mad cow was a downer animal, not able to walk due to a uterine rupture while calving.’
    • ‘‘In the immediate aftermath of December 23, it was very clear that Congress was determined to remove downers from the food chain,’ he told him.’
    • ‘The issue has come to light due to the testimony of a slaughterhouse worker who says the infected cow recently diagnosed with Mad Cow disease showed no symptoms of being a downer when it was butchered.’
    • ‘The purchase of downer cattle for Arby's beef supply is strictly prohibited by the Arby's system.’
    • ‘He has rightly campaigned for years for a ban on downer animals - a ban which the administration put in place after the announcement of the discovery of the Mad Cow-infected calf.’
    • ‘The Agriculture Department said its best guess was from a 1999 beef industry survey that estimated there were 195,000 downers on ranches, feedlots and slaughterhouses that year.’
    • ‘But evidence has now emerged that contradicts the USDA assertions that the infected cow was a downer.’