1 toward or in a lower place or position, esp. to or on the ground or another surface : she looked down | the sun started to go down | he put his glass down | she flicked the switch up and down | he swung the ax to chop down the tree. • at or to a specified distance below : you can plainly see the bottom 35 feet down. • downstairs : I went down to put the kettle on. • expressing movement or position away from the north : they're living down south. • to or at a place perceived as lower (often expressing casualness or lack of hurry) : I'd rather be down at the villa | I'm going down to the arcade. • Brit. away from the capital or major city : there are eight trains a day, four up and four down. • Brit. away from a university, esp. Oxford or Cambridge. • (with reference to food or drink swallowed) in or into the stomach : she couldn't keep anything down. • so as to lie or be fixed flush or flat : she stuck down a Christmas label. • [as exclam. ] used as a command to a person or animal to sit or lie down : down, boy! • a crossword answer that reads vertically : how many letters in fifteen down? 2 to or at a lower level of intensity, volume, or activity : keep the noise down | the panic was dying down | at night it would cool down. • to or at a lower price, value, or rank : output was down by 20 percent | soup is down from 59 cents to 49 cents. • to a finer consistency, a smaller amount or size, or a simpler or more basic state : I must slim down a bit | a formal statement that can't be edited down | thin down an oil-based paint with spirits. • from an earlier to a later point in time or order : everyone, from the president down to the guy selling hot dogs, is outraged. 3 in or into a weaker or worse position, mood, or condition : the scandal brought down the government | he was down with the flu. • losing or at a disadvantage by a specified amount : the Braves, down 7-6, rallied for two runs in the sixth inning. • used to express progress through a series of tasks or items : one down and only six more to go. • (of a computer system) out of action or unavailable for use (esp. temporarily) : the system went down yesterday. • ( down with ——) shouted to express strong dislike of a specified person or thing : crowds chanted "Down with bureaucracy!" 4 in or into writing : I just write down whatever comes into my head | taking down notes. • on or on to a list, schedule, or record : I'll put you down for the evening shift. 5 (with reference to partial payment of a sum of money) made initially or on the spot : pay $500 down and the rest at the end of the month. 6 (of sailing) with the current or the wind. • (of a ship's helm) moved around to leeward so that the rudder is to windward and the vessel swings toward the wind. 7 Football (of the ball or a player in possession) not in play, typically because forward progress has been stopped. preposition 1 from a higher to a lower point of (something) : up and down the stairs | tears streaming down her face. • at or to a lower part of (a river or stream); nearer the sea : a dozen miles or so down the Mississippi. • at a point further along the course of (something) : he lived down the street. • along the course or extent of : I wandered down the road | an incision down the middle. • informal at or to (a place) : tired of going down the pub every night. 2 throughout (a period of time) : astrologers down the ages. adjective 1 [ attrib. ] directed or moving toward a lower place or position : the down escalator | click on the down arrow. • Physics denoting a flavor of quark having a charge of −1/3. Protons and neutrons are thought to be composed of combinations of up and down quarks. 2 [ predic. ] (of a person) unhappy; depressed : he's been so down lately. • [ attrib. ] informal (of a period of time) causing or characterized by unhappiness or depression : of course, there were up days and down days. 3 [ predic. ] (of a computer system) temporarily out of action or unavailable : sorry, but the computer's down. 4 [ predic. ] chiefly slang supporting or going along with someone or something : "You going to the movies?" "Yo, I'm down." • aware of and following the latest fashion : a seriously down, hip-hop homie. verb [ trans. ] informal 1 knock or bring to the ground : 175 enemy aircraft had been downed | he struck Slater on the face, downing him. 2 consume (something, typically a drink) : he downed five pints of cider. • (of a golfer) sink (a putt). noun 1 Football a chance for a team to advance the ball, ending when the ball carrier is tackled or the ball becomes out of play. A team must advance at least ten yards in a series of four downs in order to keep possession. 2 ( downs) informal unwelcome experiences or events : there had been more downs than ups during his years at the company. 3 informal a feeling or period of unhappiness or depression : everyone gets their downs, their depressive periods.