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down 1 (doun)
a. From a higher to a lower place or position: hiked down from the peak.
b. Toward, to, or on the ground, floor, or bottom: tripped and fell down.
c. Downstairs: Let's go down and get some breakfast.
d. In or into a sitting, kneeling, or reclining position: knelt down; lying down.
e. In or into one's stomach: had trouble keeping his food down; washed down the pizza with soda.
f. In writing or a record: The reporter wrote the statement down. He's down as the best goal-scorer of his time.
g. In partial payment at the time of purchase: put $250 down on the new refrigerator.
h. Into or toward a secure position: nailed down the boards; bolted the furniture down.
a. Toward or in the south; southward: flew down to Florida.
b. Away from a place considered central or a center of activity, such as a city or town: down on the farm; sent down to work at the firm's regional office.
c. To a specific location or source: tracking a rumor down.
a. Toward or at a low or lower point on a scale: from the biggest down to the smallest.
b. From earlier times or people: tradition handed down from one generation to the next.
a. To or at a lower intensity or amount: turned the volume down; prices going down.
b. To or in a reduced or concentrated form: pared the term paper down to five pages.
c. To or in a quiescent or subdued state: calmed down.
d. In or into an inactive or inoperative state: The generators went down at midnight.
e. To or into a lower or inferior condition, as of subjection, defeat, or disgrace: people kept down for decades.
a. To an extreme degree; heavily: worn down by worry.
b. Seriously or vigorously: get down to the project at hand.
a. Moving or directed downward: a down elevator.
b. Low or lower: Stock prices were down today.
c. Reduced; diminished: The wind is down.
d. Sports & Games Trailing an opponent: a team down 20 points in the last quarter; down two pawns in chess.
a. Afflicted; sick: She's down with a bad cold.
b. Malfunctioning or not operating, especially temporarily: The computer is down.
c. Low in spirits; depressed: feeling down today.
3. Football
a. Not in play and at the place where offensive forward progress has stopped: The ball is down on the 50-yard line.
b. Not permitted to advance further in the play because forward progress has stopped, especially by being tackled. Used of a ball carrier.
4. Baseball Retired; out: two down in the last of the ninth.
a. Completed; done: three exams down, two to go.
b. Learned or known perfectly: had the algebra problems down.
a. In a descending direction along, upon, into, or through: rolled down the hill; floating down the river; flowed down the pipe.
b. In a sequential or temporal sequence: knowledge passed down the ages.
2. Along the course of: walking down the street.
3. In or at: The cans are stored down cellar.
a. A downward movement; descent: the downs of the rollercoaster ride.
b. A feeling of sadness or depression: His frequent downs made him hard to live with.
c. A misfortune or difficulty: went through a lot of ups and downs before succeeding.
2. Football Any of a series of four plays in American football or three plays in Canadian football during which a team must advance at least ten yards to retain possession of the ball.
v. downed, down·ing, downs
1. To bring, put, strike, or throw down: downed his opponent in the first round.
2. To swallow hastily; gulp: downed the glass of water.
3. Football To put (the ball) out of play by touching it to the ground or stepping out of bounds.
To go or come down; descend.
down on
Informal Hostile or negative toward; ill-disposed to: was down on jogging after his injury.
down on (one's) luck
Afflicted by misfortune.
down with
1. Used to express disapproval of someone or a wish to see someone removed from a position of authority: Down with the king!
2. Slang
a. Being in support of or agreement with something: "He was not, I detected, 'down with the revolution'" (Clarence Page).
b. Knowledgeable or aware of the latest trends or developments: a hipster who is down with the newest fads.

[Middle English doun, from Old English -dūne (as in ofdūne, downwards), from dūne, dative of dūn, hill; see dheuə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Dow·ning (dounĭng), Andrew Jackson 1815-1852.
American landscape architect and horticulturist who wrote the classic A Treatise on Landscape Gardening (1841) and designed the grounds of the White House and the US Capitol.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.