Down

Definition of Down

Pronunciation: doun
n.1.(Zool.) Fine, soft, hairy outgrowth from the skin or surface of animals or plants, not matted and fleecy like wool
And the first down begins to shade his face.
- Dryden.
2.That which is made of down, as a bed or pillow; that which affords ease and repose, like a bed of down
When in the down I sink my head,
Sleep, Death's twin brother, times my breath.
- Tennyson.
Thou bosom softness, down of all my cares!
- Southern.
Down tree
(Bot.) a tree of Central America (Ochroma Lagopus), the seeds of which are enveloped in vegetable wool.
v. t.1.To cover, ornament, line, or stuff with down.
n.1.A bank or rounded hillock of sand thrown up by the wind along or near the shore; a flattish-topped hill; - usually in the plural.
Hills afford prospects, as they must needs acknowledge who have been on the downs of Sussex.
- Ray.
She went by dale, and she went by down.
- Tennyson.
2.A tract of poor, sandy, undulating or hilly land near the sea, covered with fine turf which serves chiefly for the grazing of sheep; - usually in the plural.
3.A road for shipping in the English Channel or Straits of Dover, near Deal, employed as a naval rendezvous in time of war.
On the 11th [June, 1771] we run up the channel . . . at noon we were abreast of Dover, and about three came to an anchor in the Downs, and went ashore at Deal.
- Cook (First Voyage).
4.A state of depression; low state; abasement.
It the downs of life too much outnumber the ups.
- M. Arnold.
adv.1.In the direction of gravity or toward the center of the earth; toward or in a lower place or position; below; - the opposite of up.
2.From a higher to a lower position, literally or figuratively; in a descending direction; from the top of an ascent; from an upright position; to the ground or floor; to or into a lower or an inferior condition; as, into a state of humility, disgrace, misery, and the like; into a state of rest; - used with verbs indicating motion.
It will be rain to-night. Let it come down.
- Shak.
I sit me down beside the hazel grove.
- Tennyson.
And that drags down his life.
- Tennyson.
There is not a more melancholy object in the learned world than a man who has written himself down.
- Addison.
The French . . . shone down [i. e., outshone] the English.
- Shak.
3.In a low or the lowest position, literally or figuratively; at the bottom of a descent; below the horizon; on the ground; in a condition of humility, dejection, misery, and the like; in a state of quiet.
I was down and out of breath.
- Shak.
The moon is down; I have not heard the clock.
- Shak.
He that is down needs fear no fall.
- Bunyan.
3.From a remoter or higher antiquity.
Venerable men! you have come down to us from a former generation.
- D. Webster.
4.From a greater to a less bulk, or from a thinner to a thicker consistence; as, to boil down in cookery, or in making decoctions.
Down helm
(Naut.) an order to the helmsman to put the helm to leeward.
Down on
to attack, implying the idea of threatening power.
Come down upon us with a mighty power.
- Shak.
prep.1.In a descending direction along; from a higher to a lower place upon or within; at a lower place in or on; as, down a hill; down a well.
2.Hence: Towards the mouth of a river; towards the sea; as, to sail or swim down a stream; to sail down the sound.
Down the country
toward the sea, or toward the part where rivers discharge their waters into the ocean.
Down the sound
in the direction of the ebbing tide; toward the sea.
v. t.1.To cause to go down; to make descend; to put down; to overthrow, as in wrestling; hence, to subdue; to bring down.
[imp. & p. p. Downed ; p. pr. & vb. n. Downing.]
I remember how you downed Beauclerk and Hamilton, the wits, once at our house.
- Madame D'Arblay.
v. i.1.To go down; to descend.
a.1.Downcast; as, a down look.
2.Downright; absolute; positive; as, a down denial.
3.Downward; going down; sloping; as, a down stroke; a down grade; a down train on a railway.
Down draught
a downward draft, as in a flue, chimney, shaft of a mine, etc.
Down in the mouth
chopfallen; dejected.

Related Words

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