Definition of down adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//daʊn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//daʊn//
    For the special uses of down in phrasal verbs, look at the entries for the verbs. For example climb down is in the phrasal verb section at climb.
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  1. 1  to or at a lower place or position She jumped down off the chair. He looked down at her. We watched as the sun went down. She bent down to pick up her glove. Mary's not down yet (= she is still upstairs). The baby can't keep any food down (= in her body).
  2. 2  from a standing or vertical position to a sitting or horizontal one Please sit down. He had to go and lie down for a while.
  3. 3  at a lower level or rate Prices have gone down recently. We're already two goals down (= the other team has two goals more). Language BankfallDescribing a decrease Car crime in Oxford fell significantly last year. Car crime fell by about a quarter over a 12-month period. The number of stolen vehicles dropped from 1 013 to 780, a fall of 26 per cent. According to this data, 780 vehicles were stolen, 26% down on the previous year. There was an 11% drop in reported thefts from motor vehicles, from 1 971 to 1 737. These figures show that, as far as car crime is concerned, the main trend is downwards.
  4. 4  used to show that the amount or strength of something is lower, or that there is less activity Turn the music down! The class settled down and she began the lesson.
  5. 5(in a crossword) reading from top to bottom, not from side to side I can't do 3 down.
  6. 6  to or in the south of a country They flew down to Texas. Houses are more expensive down south.
  7. 7  on paper; on a list Did you get that down? I always write everything down. Have you got me down for the trip?
  8. 8used to show the limits in a range or an order Everyone will be there, from the Principal down.
  9. 9having lost the amount of money mentioned At the end of the day we were £20 down.
  10. 10if you pay an amount of money down, you pay that to start with, and the rest later
  11. 11(informal) used to say how far you have got in a list of things you have to do Well, I've seen six apartments so far. That's six down and four to go!
  12. 12(informal) to or at a local place such as a shop/store, pub, etc. I'm just going down to the post office. I saw him down at the shops. In informal British English, to and at are often left out after down in this sense:He's gone down the shops.
  13. Word Originadverb Old English dūn, dūne, shortened from adūne ‘downward’, from the phrase of dūne ‘off the hill’.Idioms (informal) to be the responsibility of somebody It's down to you to check the door.
    be down to somebody/something
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    to be caused by a particular person or thing She claimed her problems were down to the media.
    to have only a little money left I'm down to my last dollar.
    be/go down with something
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    to have or catch an illness See related entries: Ailments and diseases, Being ill
      down and dirty (North American English, informal)
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    1. 1behaving in an unfair or aggressive way, especially because you want to win The candidate again got down and dirty with his rival. The online campaign was getting down and dirty.
    2. 2rude and shocking The singer got down and dirty at the club last night and made headlines again. The singers are a down-and-dirty duo from Ohio. More Like This Alliteration in idioms belt and braces, black and blue, born and bred, chalk and cheese, chop and change, done and dusted, down and dirty, in dribs and drabs, eat somebody out of house and home, facts and figures, fast and furious, first and foremost, forgive and forget, hale and hearty, hem and haw, kith and kin, mix and match, part and parcel, puff and pant, to rack and ruin, rant and rave, risk life and limb, short and sweet, signed and sealed, spic and span, through thick and thin, this and that, top and tail, tried and tested, wax and waneSee worksheet.
    (formal) during a long period of time Down through the years this town has seen many changes.
    down to the last, smallest, final, etc. something
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    including every small part or detail of something She organized everything down to the last detail.
    (informal) to or in Australia and/or New Zealand
    down with somebody/something
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    used to say that you are opposed to something, or to a person The crowds chanted ‘Down with NATO!’
    have/get something down
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    to be able to do something easily or well She's young and she hasn't really got it down yet. The teacher gave us the music to the song and we had two weeks to get it down. It looked easy once you got the system down.
    you can’t keep a good man down
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    (saying) a person who is determined or wants something very much will succeed
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: down