Definition of downward in US English:


(also downwards)


  • 1Toward a lower place, point, or level.

    ‘he was lying face downward’
    • ‘I cast my gaze downwards towards the floor then looked back up at his hazel eyes.’
    • ‘We had gone barely a hundred yards when a few snowflakes began to drift downwards.’
    • ‘This plateau slopes downward to the north until it reaches the sea.’
    • ‘She finally rounded a corner and noticed that the path this time seemed to slope downwards.’
    • ‘Rather than following the classic coral slope downwards, I head for the shallows.’
    • ‘The bridge sloped downwards halfway across, until it was level with the other side.’
    • ‘The net internal effect will ultimately drive the cost of the brand up and drive quality levels downwards.’
    • ‘I shall only sell if they head downwards towards my break-even point.’
    • ‘He said other factories are just chalking the price downwards at every opportunity.’
    • ‘Clasping his hands together, he took a deep breath to lengthen his spine and looked gently downward toward the plush, carpeted floor.’
    • ‘Steve's eyes slant slightly downward, a sign of kindness.’
    • ‘Nearly all beach sands have distinctive stratification that dips downward toward the water.’
    • ‘They plunged downward towards a huddle of shanties on the edge of a huge city.’
    • ‘By contrast, the trends for indicators of disabling asthma turned downwards in 1989.’
    • ‘It is generally longer than it is wide and its floor slopes downwards towards a junction either with another valley or a plain.’
    • ‘Rub a little oil over the body and progress downwards towards the feet.’
    • ‘She smiles slightly, looking downward at the floor and notices the blue box in Jason's hands.’
    • ‘One thing about walking around a lot with a small child is that your eyes are always looking downwards towards the pavement.’
    • ‘Our expectations had been managed downward for more than a year.’
    • ‘The talonid basin lacks rugosity and slopes gently downward towards the ectolophid.’
    1. 1.1 Used to indicate that something applies to everyone in a certain hierarchy or set.
      ‘new rules on sick leave affect employees of all grades, from managers downward’
      • ‘The whole issue has been handled terribly, right from governmental level downwards.’
      • ‘What does that mean for cooperation between unions at executive level and downwards?’
      • ‘Everyone, from President Mubarak downwards, has assured me of the desire to increase the levels of trade.’
      • ‘The pressure from everyone, from the Prime Minister downwards, seems to be having some effect at last.’


  • Moving or leading toward a lower place or level.

    ‘a downward trend in inflation’
    ‘the downward curve of the stairs’
    • ‘His large, painted mouth retained its huge downward curve.’
    • ‘They seem to envisage an irreversible downward spiral leading to the depopulation of Australia.’
    • ‘The next three-year strategy would aim to get crime back on a downward trend.’
    • ‘They are changes that must happen when oil supplies start their inevitable downward slide.’
    • ‘This has proven to be a vicious downward spiral leading to the destruction of all past gains won in decades of struggle.’
    • ‘It was his intention to continue this downward trend in the future.’
    • ‘Which will put more downward pressure on the dollar.’
    • ‘In addition, logistics inefficiency increases transaction costs that in turn put more downward pressure on competitiveness.’
    • ‘"Companies with good corporate structures in place are much more likely to avert sharp downward movements in earnings.’
    • ‘When people get in a downward spiral, they have difficulty breaking that pattern.’
    • ‘After all there is an intense competition, creating a downward spiral leading to unviable rates?’
    • ‘Although the profits are still smaller than the accumulated losses, at least the downward curve has been reversed.’
    • ‘Manufacturing industries accounted for the lion's share of the downward revision to profits.’
    • ‘All the so-called triumphs of efficient production are simply attempts to slow down the pace of the downward curve.’
    • ‘New figures to be published this week are expected to confirm the downward trend in house price inflation.’
    • ‘The question is, will the downward trend continue and are falling rental incomes a nationwide epidemic?’
    • ‘The only debate can be about precisely when that downward slide began.’
    • ‘He said construction inflation was on a downward trend and prices for tenders were coming down steadily.’
    • ‘The number of people smoking has been falling for a decade, but the downward trend appears to have stopped.’
    • ‘One thing is beyond doubt: his earnings are now on a downward curve.’
    descending, downhill, falling, sinking, going down, moving down, sliding, slipping, dipping, earthbound, earthward
    View synonyms


Middle English: shortening of Old English adūnweard.