In, to, or toward a lower place, level, or position: floating downward. Toward a lower position in a hierarchy or on a socioeconomic scale: slid downward into poverty. Toward the feet or lower parts: clothed from the waist downward. Toward a lower amount, degree, or rank: stocks plummeted downward. From a prior source or earlier time: passed downward through the ages. Directed toward a lower place or position: downward movement.