1The action of lying down or going to bed; the taking of permanent quarters.
Frequently paired or contrasted with uprising, with allusion to Deuteronomy 6:7 and Psalm 139:2.
2The action of a woman taking to bed for the birth of a child; confinement. Frequently in "at (the) downlying": on the verge of going into labour. Compare "lying-in". In later use chiefly Scottish, Irish English, and English regional.
Mid 16th century. From down- + lying, after to lie down and down-lie.