Definition of top-down in English:



  • 1Denoting a system of government or management in which actions and policies are initiated at the highest level; hierarchical.

    • ‘There's little hierarchy and no top-down management.’
    • ‘With production so close to home, the practice of trade is not top-down, mass-market, and imposed by corporate distribution systems.’
    • ‘Ties reinforced at the Grove manifest themselves in global trade meetings, party politics, campaign financing, and top-down democracy.’
    • ‘Like all corporations, media companies are essentially totalitarian institutions subject to a strict, top-down hierarchy of control.’
    • ‘DFO is, by nature of the Act, a large bureaucracy that has as its sole objective the implementation of a top-down management system.’
    • ‘Without the editorial demands - or benefits - of the top-down system, the Do It Yourself movement created its own aesthetic.’
    • ‘Nearly a century later, though many details have changed, the same top-down system remains in place.’
    • ‘So from the top-down, the high level CIs are based on management and buildability issues (and also if there's any areas of special technical risk, but I'm trying to keep this as simple as possible).’
    • ‘Although this focal production network is far from being a simple top-down hierarchy, it is characterized by strong ties and uneven power relations.’
    • ‘Eastman and his group have identified common elements and specified a top-down system that begins with overall building assembly and follows with assembly detailing and structural analysis.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the top-down system has been less successful in nationbuilding.’
    • ‘Accountability, at least, leaves the traditional top-down system intact.’
    • ‘For his top-down system of personal government, prompt and accurate information was essential, but he did not get it.’
    • ‘Thirty-eight states are opting for the top-down system.’
    • ‘Just because armies, empires, chimpanzee troops, and computers operate through top-down hierarchies of control, the church need not.’
    • ‘This modernised welfare state has been profoundly shaped by the realisation that large, top-down bureaucracies are rarely the best method of delivering services.’
    • ‘There is no top-down hierarchy that can easily be disrupted, no carefully organised cell structure that resists but is ultimately vulnerable to covert subversion, no nation state that can be battered into submission.’
    • ‘Its values emanated from the Scottish Kirk, which had thrown out the top-down hierarchy of the Catholic Church and replaced it with governing councils made up of ordinary citizens.’
    • ‘It would get rid of the bureaucratic, top-down management of our public services.’
    • ‘One of the most important lessons in online community management is that top-down management is seldom particularly successful in forcing people to act in a certain way.’
  • 2Proceeding from the general to the particular.

    ‘a top-down approach to research’
    • ‘Researchers are starting to ask whether this top-down approach still makes sense at such scales.’
    • ‘The top-down approach means testing general ideas of future direction against detailed options.’
    • ‘This claim is important to George because he is interested in dismantling a top-down approach wherein a theoretical model is brought to shed light on a literary text.’
    • ‘Taking a top-down approach already implies a categorisation attempt that is outside of the sphere of influence of the wiki contributors, which kind of counteracts the point of a wiki.’
    1. 2.1Computing Working from the top or root of a treelike system toward the branches.
      • ‘For top-down and thin-wall part design, the Indent feature lets you add geometry or form a recess based on a tool body.’
      • ‘Using CVS or Subversion is a top-down decision made for an entire project team, although Arch can be adopted by one or two developers at a time until everyone in the group is up to speed.’
      • ‘The most common way to fabricate structures in the range of nanometres is the top-down approach.’
      • ‘They make sense for a relatively homogeneous, top-down digital library development program.’
      • ‘It is important that a supercomputing roadmap be driven both top-down by application needs and bottom-up by technology barriers and that mission needs as well as science needs be incorporated.’
      • ‘Learn classic top-down computer network design with the second edition of the best-selling Cisco Press design book.’
      • ‘Quin constructs a tree in a top-down greedy fashion, similar to decision tree induction algorithms.’
      • ‘On the other hand, whereas the Cathedral thrives on monolithic management, the Linux project has neither top-down planning nor a central body vested with binding and enforcing authorities.’
      • ‘Smart middles always have been the telco and cable-carrier equivalent of the top-down producer-to-consumer worldview of every large producer in the Industrial Age.’
      • ‘Essentially, DPS systems are built in a top-down manner.’
      • ‘It explicitly has avoided creating a top-down categorization scheme.’
      • ‘Teaches fundamentals of programming including principles of structured code and top-down design.’
      • ‘This is a very top-down process, and is typical of the kind of information architecture that was practiced a few years ago, when we were more likely to be designing brand new sites.’
      • ‘I think it is best to start top-down and first look at how to invoke the rendering process, without discussing implementation specifications.’
      • ‘Our battle is with the closed, top-down silo-oriented value system that has been with us since the dawn of the Industrial Age.’
      • ‘To help teamwork, there is a command console screen, which is a screen that essentially shows you a top-down view of the battlefield, with all your assets and liabilities listed so that you can take quick action about them.’
      • ‘Side-scrollers were the name of the game, with the occasional top-down RPG or adventure.’



/ˈtäp ˌdoun/