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Typical downland in Wiltshire, UK
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down +‎ land


downland (plural downlands)

  1. (UK) An area of rolling hills (downs), often grassy pasture over chalk or limestone.
    • 1789, Ann Ward Radcliffe, chapter 4, in The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne[1], London: T. Hookham, page 93:
      Hail! every distant hill, and downland plain!
      Your dew-hid beauties Fancy oft unveils;
    • 1849 May – 1850 November, Charles Dickens, The Personal History of David Copperfield, London: Bradbury & Evans, [], published 1850, →OCLC:
      [] I walked on to Canterbury early in the morning. It was now winter again; and the fresh, cold windy day, and the sweeping downland, brightened up my hopes a little.
    • 1898, Thomas Hardy, “My Cicely”, in Wessex Poems and Other Verses[2], New York: Harper, page 126:
      I traversed the downland
      Whereon the bleak hill-graves of Chieftains
      Bulge barren of tree;
    • 1946 July and August, K. Westcott Jones, “Isle of Wight Central Railway—2”, in Railway Magazine, page 244:
      Shortly after leaving Godshill, a lengthy climb begins through rolling downland country at 1 in 75, easing to 1 in 103.
    • 1958, Muriel Spark, chapter 6, in Robinson[3], New York: New Directions, published 2003, page 66:
      I was surprised to see that the plane had been wrecked, not on one of the hefty cliff faces of our mountain, but on a gentle green hillside, merging into downland.
    • 2010, Howard Jacobson, chapter 12, in The Finkler Question[4], New York: Bloomsbury, page 278:
      He drank another whisky then left the pub and climbed slowly up the downlands, bent as the trees and shrubs were bent.