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down +‎ -ward



downward (comparative more downward, superlative most downward)

  1. Toward a lower level, whether in physical space, in a hierarchy, or in amount or value.
    His position in society moved ever downward.
    The natural disasters put downward pressure on the creditworthiness of the nation’s insurance groups.
    • c. 1590s, Michael Drayton, “The Ninth Eglog” in Poemes Lyrick and Pastorall, London: N.L. and I. Flasket (no date), published by the Spenser Society, 1891, p. 94,[1]
      Whose presence, as she went along,
      The prety flowers did greet,
      As though their heads they downward bent
      With homage to her feete.
    • c. 1602, William Shakespeare, All’s Well That Ends Well, Act III, Scene 7,[2]
      [] a ring the county wears,
      That downward hath succeeded in his house
      From son to son, some four or five descents
    • 1719, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, London: W. Taylor, p. 71,[3]
      [] their Sight was so directed downward, that they did not readily see Objects that were above them []
    • 1878, Thomas Hardy, The Return of the Native, Book I, Chapter 4,[4]
      Down, downward they went, and yet further down—their descent at each step seeming to outmeasure their advance.
  2. At a lower level.
  3. southward
    • 1927, Havelock Ellis, Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 2 (of 6)[6]:
      If we turn to the New World, we find that among the American Indians, from the Eskimo of Alaska downward to Brazil and still farther south, homosexual customs have been very frequently observed.





downward (comparative more downward, superlative most downward)

  1. Moving, sloping or oriented downward.
    He spoke with a downward glance.
    • 1593, William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis,[7]
      But this foul, grim, and urchin-snouted boar,
      Whose downward eye still looketh for a grave,
      Ne’er saw the beauteous livery that he wore;
    • 1728, James Thomson, Spring. A Poem, London: A. Millar, p. 12,[8]
      [] in the Western Sky, the downward Sun
      Looks out illustrious from amid the Flush
      Of broken Clouds []
    • 1897, H. G. Wells, The Invisible Man, Chapter 28,[9]
      Emerging into the hill-road, Kemp naturally took the downward direction []
    • 1952, Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt, Mineola, New York: Dover, 2015, Chapter 7, p. 73,[10]
      [] Therese saw a downward slant of sadness in her mouth now, a sadness not of wisdom but of defeat.
  2. Located at a lower level.
    • 1713, Alexander Pope, Windsor-Forest, London: Bernard Lintott, p. 9,[11]
      In her chast Current oft the Goddess laves,
      And with Celestial Tears augments the Waves.
      Oft in her Glass the musing Shepherd spies
      The headlong Mountains and the downward Skies,
      The watry Landskip of the pendant Woods,
      And absent Trees that tremble in the Floods;
    • 1793, Thomas Taylor (translator), The Phædo in The Cratylus, Phædo, Parmenides and Timæus of Plato, London: Benjamin and John White, p. 235,[12]
      [] often revolving itself under the earth, [the river] flows into the more downward parts of Tartarus.