Definition of downward in English:


(also downwards)


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

    ‘he was lying face downward’
    ‘the floor sloped downwards’
    • ‘It is generally longer than it is wide and its floor slopes downwards towards a junction either with another valley or a plain.’
    • ‘The talonid basin lacks rugosity and slopes gently downward towards the ectolophid.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Rub a little oil over the body and progress downwards towards the feet.’
    • ‘I shall only sell if they head downwards towards my break-even point.’
    • ‘They plunged downward towards a huddle of shanties on the edge of a huge city.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One thing about walking around a lot with a small child is that your eyes are always looking downwards towards the pavement.’
    • ‘Clasping his hands together, he took a deep breath to lengthen his spine and looked gently downward toward the plush, carpeted floor.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This plateau slopes downward to the north until it reaches the sea.’
    • ‘Nearly all beach sands have distinctive stratification that dips downward toward the water.’
    • ‘She smiles slightly, looking downward at the floor and notices the blue box in Jason's hands.’
    • ‘Steve's eyes slant slightly downward, a sign of kindness.’
    • ‘By contrast, the trends for indicators of disabling asthma turned downwards in 1989.’
    • ‘Our expectations had been managed downward for more than a year.’
    • ‘He said other factories are just chalking the price downwards at every opportunity.’
    1. 1.1Used 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 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.’
      • ‘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?’


  • Moving or leading towards a lower place or level.

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


Middle English shortening of Old English adūnweard.