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downward

[doun-werd]
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adverb
  1. Also down·wards. from a higher to a lower place or condition.
  2. down from a source or beginning: As the river flows downward, it widens.
  3. from a past time, predecessor, or ancestor: The estate was handed downward from generation to generation.
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adjective
  1. moving or tending to a lower place or condition.
  2. descending from a source or beginning.
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Origin of downward

1150–1200; Middle English dounward, aphetic variant of adounward, Old English adūnweard. See down1, -ward
Related formsdown·ward·ly, adverbdown·ward·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

downwardsdown

Examples from the Web for downward

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I know it all by heart—all the things to say to a man on the downward path.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • A moment later they were on the downward slope, and she had vanished from their view.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The harder you blow the greater will be the downward movement.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • The hands are thrust upward, outward, and downward with force.

  • He indicated the third person by a downward thrust of the thumb to the box on which they sat.

    White Fang

    Jack London


British Dictionary definitions for downward

downward

adjective
  1. descending from a higher to a lower level, condition, position, etc
  2. descending from a beginning
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adverb
  1. a variant of downwards
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Derived Formsdownwardly, adverbdownwardness, noun
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 downward

adv.

c.1200, from down (adv.) + -ward. Old English had aduneweard in this sense. Downwards, with adverbial genitive, had a parallel in Old English ofduneweardes.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper