To cut down


To cut down
Down Down, adv. [For older adown, AS. ad[=u]n, ad[=u]ne, prop., from or off the hill. See 3d {Down}, and cf. {Adown}, and cf. {Adown}.] 1. In the direction of gravity or toward the center of the earth; toward or in a lower place or position; below; -- the opposite of {up}. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence, in many derived uses, as: (a) From a higher to a lower position, literally or figuratively; in a descending direction; from the top of an ascent; from an upright position; to the ground or floor; to or into a lower or an inferior condition; as, into a state of humility, disgrace, misery, and the like; into a state of rest; -- used with verbs indicating motion. [1913 Webster]

It will be rain to-night. Let it come down. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

I sit me down beside the hazel grove. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

And that drags down his life. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

There is not a more melancholy object in the learned world than a man who has written himself down. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

The French . . . shone down [i. e., outshone] the English. --Shak. (b) In a low or the lowest position, literally or figuratively; at the bottom of a descent; below the horizon; on the ground; in a condition of humility, dejection, misery, and the like; in a state of quiet. [1913 Webster]

I was down and out of breath. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The moon is down; I have not heard the clock. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

He that is down needs fear no fall. --Bunyan. [1913 Webster]

3. From a remoter or higher antiquity. [1913 Webster]

Venerable men! you have come down to us from a former generation. --D. Webster. [1913 Webster]

4. From a greater to a less bulk, or from a thinner to a thicker consistence; as, to boil down in cookery, or in making decoctions. --Arbuthnot. [1913 Webster]

Note: Down is sometimes used elliptically, standing for go down, come down, tear down, take down, put down, haul down, pay down, and the like, especially in command or exclamation.

Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

If he be hungry more than wanton, bread alone will down. --Locke. Down is also used intensively; as, to be loaded down; to fall down; to hang down; to drop down; to pay down.

The temple of Her[`e] at Argos was burnt down. --Jowett (Thucyd.). Down, as well as up, is sometimes used in a conventional sense; as, down East.

Persons in London say down to Scotland, etc., and those in the provinces, up to London. --Stormonth. [1913 Webster]

{Down helm} (Naut.), an order to the helmsman to put the helm to leeward.

{Down on} or {Down upon} (joined with a verb indicating motion, as go, come, pounce), to attack, implying the idea of threatening power. [1913 Webster]

Come down upon us with a mighty power. --Shak.

{Down with}, take down, throw down, put down; -- used in energetic command, often by people aroused in crowds, referring to people, laws, buildings, etc.; as, down with the king! ``Down with the palace; fire it.'' --Dryden.

{To be down on}, to dislike and treat harshly. [Slang, U.S.]

{To cry down}. See under {Cry}, v. t.

{To cut down}. See under {Cut}, v. t.

{Up and down}, with rising and falling motion; to and fro; hither and thither; everywhere. ``Let them wander up and down.'' --Ps. lix. 15. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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