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adv. or down·wards (-wərdz)
1. In, to, or toward a lower place, level, or position: floating downward.
2. Toward a lower position in a hierarchy or on a socioeconomic scale: slid downward into poverty.
3. Toward the feet or lower parts: clothed from the waist downward.
4. Toward a lower amount, degree, or rank: stocks plummeted downward.
5. From a prior source or earlier time: passed downward through the ages.
Directed toward a lower place or position: downward movement.

down′ward·ly adv.


(ˈdaʊnwədz) or


1. from a higher to a lower place, level, etc
2. from an earlier time or source to a later: from the Tudors downwards.


1. 'downwards'

In British English, if you move or look downwards, you move or look towards the ground or the floor.

...a lift that is plummeting downwards at speed.
She gazed downwards.

Downwards is only used as an adverb.

2. 'downward'

Speakers of American English usually say downward instead of 'downwards'.

The blood from the wound spread downward.
He kept his head on one side as he spoke, looking downward.

In both British and American English, downward is an adjective. A downward movement or look is one in which someone or something moves or looks downwards.

She made a bold downward stroke with the paintbrush.
...a downward glance.

When downward is an adjective, you can only use it in front of a noun.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.downwards - spatially or metaphorically from a higher to a lower level or position; "don't fall down"; "rode the lift up and skied down"; "prices plunged downward"
up, upward, upwardly, upwards - spatially or metaphorically from a lower to a higher position; "look up!"; "the music surged up"; "the fragments flew upwards"; "prices soared upwards"; "upwardly mobile"


[ˈdaʊnwərdz] adv
[move, look] [person] → vers le bas
face downwards → à plat ventre
to move downwards (= decrease) [amount, rate] → baisser
from sb downwards
everyone from the Prime Minister downwards → tout le monde, le premier ministre en tête
References in classic literature ?
Though true cylinders without --within, the villanous green goggling glasses deceitfully tapered downwards to a cheating bottom.
His cranial cavity is continuous with the first neck-vertebra; and in that vertebra the bottom of the spinal canal will measure ten inches across, being eight in height, and of a triangular figure with the base downwards.
It swept us downwards, but still we made way, for we could swim well.
No, lady,'' said the Jewess; ``but among our people, since the time of Abraham downwards, have been women who have devoted their thoughts to Heaven, and their actions to works of kindness to men, tending the sick, feeding the hungry, and relieving the distressed.
Her fingers were interlaced, and her hands rested, palms downwards, on her knee.
The ebb had already run some time, and I had to wade through a long belt of swampy sand, where I sank several times above the ankle, before I came to the edge of the retreating water, and wading a little way in, with some strength and dexterity, set my coracle, keel downwards, on the surface.
In a little time I felt something alive moving on my left leg, which advancing gently forward over my breast, came almost up to my chin; when, bending my eyes downwards as much as I could, I perceived it to be a human creature not six inches high, with a bow and arrow in his hands, and a quiver at his back.
And with fear in his eyes, Lord Henry rushed through the flapping palms to find Dorian Gray lying face downwards on the tiled floor in a deathlike swoon.
Alice looked at the jury-box, and saw that, in her haste, she had put the Lizard in head downwards, and the poor little thing was waving its tail about in a melancholy way, being quite unable to move.
Instead of answering the young man lifted up his robe, and showed the Sultan that, from the waist downwards, he was a block of black marble.
This recess or space I perceived when I was already growing weary and disgusted at finding myself hanging suspended by the rope, travelling downwards into that dark region without any certainty or knowledge of where I was going, so I resolved to enter it and rest myself for a while.
In this respect they are like the ivy which never strives to rise above the tree that sustains it, and which frequently even returns downwards when it has reached the top; for it seems to me that they also sink, in other words, render themselves less wise than they would be if they gave up study, who, not contented with knowing all that is intelligibly explained in their author, desire in addition to find in him the solution of many difficulties of which he says not a word, and never perhaps so much as thought.