down - definition and synonyms

adjective, adverb, preposition 

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Down can be used in the following ways:
as a preposition (followed by a noun): She was walking down the street.
as an adverb (without a following noun): She lay down and fell asleep.
after the verb ‘to be’: Oil prices are down.
as an adjective: I’ve been feeling rather down lately.
  1. 1
    to or towards a lower place
    1. a.
      moving towards a lower place or position

      Someone pushed him and he fell down the stairs.

      Snowflakes floated down through the cold night air.

      Tears were rolling down his cheeks.

      We watched the sun go down.

    2. b.
      looking, pointing, or leading to a lower place

      We paused for a moment, gazing down into the valley below.

      steps leading down to the beach

      the down escalator

    3. c.
      from a higher place to the ground

      Their plane came down in a field beside the motorway.

      Get down off that roof – it’s dangerous.

    4. d.
      used for saying that you put something you are carrying onto a lower surface

      Put the box down on the table.

  2. 2
    in a lower place or at a lower level

    It was dark and cold down in the cellar.

    Your name’s further down the list.

    down below:

    We could hear noises coming from down below.

  3. 3
    into or in a sitting or lying position
    1. a.
      moving your body into a sitting, bending, or lying position

      Why don’t you sit down and rest your legs?

      I crouched down behind some bushes.

    2. b.
      remaining in a sitting, lying, or bending position

      The headache was so bad she spent the rest of the day lying down.

      The video has exercises you can do while you are sitting down.

  4. 4
    in a direction away from you
    1. a.
      moving or looking along a road, track, path etc

      I was walking down the street with a couple of friends.

      James looked back down the drive to see if anyone was following him.

    2. b.
      moving or looking along a river in the same direction as the current

      We sailed down the Yellow River towards the open sea.

    3. c.
      at a point somewhere on a road, path etc in a direction away from you

      They live somewhere down Park Avenue.

      100 yards/2 miles etc down something:

      The nearest hotel is five or six miles down the main road.

    4. d.
      at a point further along a river in the direction of the current

      There’s another bridge further down the river.

  5. 5
    spoken at or to a place that is near you

    Sandra’s just gone down to the shops.

    I saw him down at the station this morning.

  6. 6
    1. a.
      going towards the south

      Thousands of Scottish fans will be travelling down to London for the big match.

    2. b.
      in a place that is to the south of where you are

      Newhaven is down on the south coast.

  7. 7
    when something is reduced
    1. a.
      at or to a smaller amount, lower level etc than before
      down to:

      House prices have come down to a more reasonable level.

      down by:

      Overall demand for heating energy last winter was down by about 10%.

      down on (=less than):

      Profits are 15% down on last year.

    2. b.
      used for saying that something becomes less strong, less violent, or less loud

      The storm had died down by evening.

      Turn down the radio.

  8. 8
    used for saying that something is damaged or destroyed and falls to the ground

    The opera house was burnt down in 1990.

    It’s more than ten years since the Berlin Wall came down.

  9. 9
    used for saying that you write something on a piece of paper or in a book

    I copied down his address and phone number.

    Let me write that down before I forget it.

  10. 10
    used for saying that something is fastened or stuck to a surface

    The lid of the box was screwed down tight.

  11. 11
    used for saying that the whole of a large object is cleaned from top to bottom

    We need to wash down the walls before we can start painting.

  12. 12
    when food or drink goes down, it goes from your mouth to your stomach

    He gulped down his tea and got up from the table.

    Lunch consisted of pizza washed down with a glass of milk.

  13. 13
    used for saying that someone has an illness
    be/go/come down with something:

    Poor Susan went down with flu just before Christmas.

  14. 14
    used for saying that something is given to the next generation (=people who are alive after you die)
    hand/pass down:

    The ancient Gaelic songs have been handed down from generation to generation.

  15. 15
    informal unhappy or sad
    be/feel down:

    He’s been feeling very down since his wife went away.

    get someone down:

    All these problems are getting her down.

  16. 16
    if you are down for a particular job, it has been arranged that you will do it
    down for:

    I think I’m down for babysitting on Monday night.

  17. 17
    if a player or team is a certain number of points down, that is the number of points they need in order to reach their opponent’s score

    At half-time our team were two goals down.

  18. 18
    if a computer system is down, it is not working
  19. 19
    used for saying how many things you have dealt with and how many more still need to be dealt with
    one/two etc down and one/two etc to go:

    Well, that’s another exam over. Two down and four to go.

  20. 20
    used for saying that you pay an amount of money immediately when you buy something and will pay the rest later

    Own a brand new Fiat Bravo for only £99 cash down and £31.68 a week.