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A second-hand (not new) item, usually a piece of clothing, that is passed down for continued use, often from an older sibling to a younger one. Maria was tired of getting her older sister's hand-me-downs and looked forward to being able to buy her own clothes.
1. verb Literally, to descend from a higher point to a lower one. This usage is commonly used to describe precipitation. Come down and look at this flood in the basement! The rain was coming down so hard this morning that I got soaked.
2. verb To decrease. I hope house prices in this neighborhood come down so that we can actually afford one.
3. verb To be bequeathed or passed down through a line of inheritance. Oh, that antique vase came down to me from my grandmother.
4. verb To originate with or be announced or decreed by a higher authority. I'm not happy about this decision either, but it came down from the CEO, so we have to abide by it.
5. verb To scold or reprimand one harshly. In this usage, "down" is typically followed by "on." It was a mistake, so don't come down on him too hard, OK?
6. verb To lose one's wealth or social status. In the early 20th century, a respected woman in high society came down dramatically if she got divorced.
7. verb To become ill. In this usage, "down" is typically followed by "with" and the particular illness. I didn't do much this weekend because I came down with a cold. Our goalie came down with the flu and missed the game.
8. verb To be dependent on something else. In this usage, the phrase is typically followed with "to." I can't make a decision about this job until I get a salary offer—my decision really comes down to that.
9. verb, slang To become sober again after using drugs or alcohol. He's starting to come down from whatever he took.
10. verb, slang To happen. Hey fellas, what's coming down tonight?
11. noun A disappointment or failure. In this usage, the phrase is typically written as one word. Not getting into my dream school was a real comedown.
1. Sl. to happen. Hey, man! What's coming down? When something like this comes down, I have to stop and think things over.
2. a letdown; a disappointment. (Usually comedown.) The loss of the race was a real comedown for Willard. It's hard to face a comedown like that.
3. Sl. to begin to recover from the effects of alcohol or drug intoxication. She came down slow from her addiction, which was good. It was hard to get her to come down.
4. [for something] to descend (to someone) through inheritance. All my silverware came down to me from my great-grandmother. The antique furniture came down through my mother's family.
(from some place) Go to down (from some place).
come down(from something)
1. to come to a lower point from a higher one. Come down from there this instant! Come down, do you hear?
2. to move from a higher status to a lower one. (See also come down in the world.) He has come down from his original position. Now he is just a clerk. He has come down quite a bit.
come down (hard) (on someone or something)
Fig. [for someone] to scold or punish someone or a group severely. The judge really came down on the petty crooks. The critics came down much too hard on the performance.
(someone's) ups and downs
a person's good fortune and bad fortune. I've had my ups and downs, but in general life has been good to me. All people have their ups and downs.
1. Lose wealth or position, as in After the market crashed, the Tates really came down in the world. A 1382 translation of the Bible by followers of John Wycliffe had this term: "Come down from glory, sit in thirst" (Jeremiah 48:18).
2. Become reduced in size or amount, be lowered, as in Interest rates will have to come down before the economy recovers. [Mid-1600s]
3. Be handed down by inheritance, tradition, or a higher authority. For example, This painting has come down to us from our great-grandparents, or These stories have come down through the generations, or An indictment finally came down. [c. 1400]
4. Also, go down. Happen, occur, as in What's coming down tonight? [Slang; 1960s]
ups and downs
Good times and bad times, successes and failures, as in We've had our ups and downs but things are going fairly well now. This term was first recorded in 1659.
ˌups and ˈdownstimes of success, happiness, etc. and times of failure, unhappiness, etc: I suppose every marriage has its ups and downs. ♢ I’ve watched the ups and downs of his business with great interest.
1. To descend: The snow is coming down hard.
2. To lose wealth or position: He has really come down in the world.
3. To pass or be handed down by tradition: The family loved traditions that came down from their ancestors.
4. To be handed down from a higher authority: An indictment came down on the case of corruption.
5. Slang To happen; occur: What's coming down tonight?
6. To experience diminishing effects of a recreational or hallucinogenic drug: He felt giddy and sick from the overdose, but he eventually came down and felt better.
7. come down on To descend upon something or someone: The rain came down on us suddenly.
8. come down on To criticize or punish someone harshly: He came down hard on anyone who was late to his meetings.
9. come down to To be passed on to someone; inherited by someone: I believe those antiques came down to them from their grandparents.
10. come down to To depend on the answer to or outcome of something: The situation comes down to whether we can finish on time.
11. come down with To develop an ailment: She came down with a nasty cold and stayed in bed all day.
1. in. to happen. Hey, man! What’s coming down?
2. n. a letdown; a disappointment. (Usually comedown.) The loss of the race was a real comedown for Willard.
3. in. to begin to recover from the effects of alcohol or drug intoxication. She came down slow, which was good.