Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- To transmit in succession, as from father to son, or from predecessor to successor.
- Fables are handed down from age to age.
- To deliver (the decision of a court, etc.)
- The jury handed down a verdict of guilty.
- To forward to the proper officer (the decision of a higher court).
- The Clerk of the Court of Appeals handed down its decision.
- 1920, T. S. Eliot, “Tradition and the Individual Talent”, in The Sacred Wood:
- Yet if the only form of tradition, of handing down, consisted in following the ways of the immediate generation before us in a blind or timid adherence to its successes, "tradition" should positively be discouraged.
- (idiomatic) To donate (as second hand.)
- When my older brother grows out of his clothes, he hands them down to me, which later in turn I hand down to my little brother, if they're not ripped apart by then. We fall over a lot, this family of ours. And grow fast. Either way, my little brother ends up with tonnes of third-hand scruffy clothes. Maybe that's why he gets picked on so much.