down

\ \ Effectively, English now has three distinct words down, but two of them are intimately related: for downto or at a lower place’ [11] originally meant ‘from the hill’ – and the Old English word for hill in this instance was dūn.
\ \ This may have been borrowed from an unrecorded Celtic word which some have viewed as the ultimate source also of dune [18] (borrowed by English from Middle Dutch dūne) and even of town. Its usage is now largely restricted to the plural form, used as a geographical term for various ranges of hills (the application to the North and South Downs in southern England dates from at least the 15th century).
\ \ The Old English phrase of dūnefrom the hill’ had by the 10th century become merged into a single word, adūne, and broadened out semantically to ‘to a lower place, down’, and in the 11th century it started to lose its first syllable – hence down. Its use as a preposition dates from the 16th century. (The history of down is closely paralleled in that of French à val, literally ‘to the valley’, which also came to be used for ‘down’; it is the source of French avalerdescend, swallow’, which played a part in the development of avalanche.) Downfeathers’ [14] was borrowed from Old Norse dúnn.
\ \ Cf.DUNE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • 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 Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Down on — 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;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Down — may refer to: Relative direction, where down is the direction towards the centre of gravity of a celestial object. Railroad directions, where down and up have locally significant meanings Down feather, a soft bird feather frequently used in… …   Wikipedia

  • down — down1 [doun] adv. [ME doun < adune, adown < OE adune, ofdune, from the hill < a , of , off, from + dune, dat. of dun, hill: see DOWN3] 1. from a higher to a lower place; toward the ground 2. in, on, or to a lower position or level;… …   English World dictionary

  • Down in It — Single by Nine Inch Nails from the album Pretty Hate Machine Released …   Wikipedia

  • Down — /down/, n. 1. a county in SW Northern Ireland. 311,876; 952 sq. mi. (2466 sq. km). Co. seat: Downpatrick. 2. an administrative district in this county. 49,500; 253 sq. mi. (654 sq. km). * * * I District (pop., 1999 est.: 63,800), Northern Ireland …   Universalium

  • Down In It — Single par Nine Inch Nails extrait de l’album Pretty Hate Machine Sortie 15 septembre 1989 Enregistrement 1989 Durée 17:45 Genre(s) Metal industriel …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Down in It — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda «Down in It» Sencillo de Nine Inch Nails del álbum Pretty Hate Machine Publicación 15 de septiembre de 1989 Formato CD, 12 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Down in It — Single par Nine Inch Nails extrait de l’album Pretty Hate Machine Sortie 15 septembre 1989 Enregistrement 1989 Durée 17:45 Genre Metal industriel …   Wikipédia en Français

  • down — Ⅰ. down [1] ► ADVERB 1) towards or in a lower place or position. 2) to or at a lower level or value. 3) so as to lie flush or flat. 4) in or into a weaker or worse position, mood, or condition. 5) to a smaller amount or size, or a simpler or more …   English terms dictionary

  • Down — ([daʊn], engl. unten, herunter, herab, nieder) steht für: eine Grafschaft in Nordirland, siehe County Down einen District in Nordirland, siehe Down (District) eine Genommutation beim Menschen, siehe Down Syndrom (Trisomie 21) einen Quark, siehe… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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