[doun-kast, -kahst]


directed downward, as the eyes.
dejected in spirit; depressed.


overthrow or ruin.
a downward look or glance.
a shaft down which air passes, as into a mine (opposed to upcast).

Origin of downcast

First recorded in 1250–1300, downcast is from the Middle English word douncasten. See down1, cast
Related formsdown·cast·ly, adverbdown·cast·ness, noun

Synonyms for downcast Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for downcast

Contemporary Examples of downcast

Historical Examples of downcast

  • His eyes, which had been downcast, lifted and glared on the questioner.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • "You are much safer here," said the girl, with downcast eyes.

  • Her eyes were downcast--looking upon the waxed floor as if in meditation.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • Bit by bit, word by word, the master drew the whole truth from the downcast lads.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • He was a good stout knight, but sorrowful of face and downcast of mien.

British Dictionary definitions for downcast



(esp of the eyes) directed downwards


mining a ventilation shaft
geology another word for downthrow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for downcast

c.1600, from past participle of obsolete verb downcast (c.1300), from down (adv.) + cast (v.). Literal at first; figurative sense is 1630s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper