We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out moreJump to Main NavigationJump to Content
  • Text size: A
  • A

downcoming, n.

Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: Formed within English, by derivation. Etymons: down- prefix, coming n.
Now chiefly regional.

  An act or instance of coming down (in various senses); a descent from a higher place or position. Also: a section of road or terrain that slopes downward. Cf. downcome n. 1a.

a1398   J. Trevisa tr. Bartholomaeus Anglicus De Proprietatibus Rerum (BL Add. 27944) (1975) I. xi. vi. 583   In his risinge and douncomynge dewe ȝeueþ vertue and strengþe to treen.
a1425  (a1400)    Prick of Conscience (Galba & Harl.) (1863) l. 5271   He [sc. Christ] sal þan at his doun commyng Þe taken of þe croys wyth hym bring.
c1480  (a1400)    St. Lawrence l. 534 in W. M. Metcalfe Legends Saints Sc. Dial. (1896) I. 417   A kyrk..sic ned had of mending, þat it was nere þe done-cummyng.
a1500  (?a1400)    Stanzaic Life of Christ (Harl. 3909) (1926) l. 6367 (MED)   At Cristes don-comyng, ouer-comen was Sathan.
1599   J. Minsheu Percyvall's Dict. Spanish & Eng. at Abaxadéro   A place of descending, a side of a hill, a downe comming.
1651   Severall Proc. Parl. No. 112. 1739   We..have found it most necessary, to desire and invite all Shires..to a joynt correspondence for attending the down-comming of the English Commissioners.
a1698   W. Row Suppl. in R. Blair Life (1848) (modernized text) xii. 400   Before the bishops' downcoming.
1749   Active Testimony True Presbyterians Scotl. 4   All that wish well to our Zion, and long for the down coming of Babylon.
1859   H. T. Ellis Hong Kong to Manilla vii. 135   After various and sundry down-comings over the bamboos, fast stickings in the mire, and other mishaps..the welcome lights of the village of Tananan began to gleam through the rain on us.
1883   W. Besant All in Garden Fair II. vi. 167   A sad downcoming of his lofty aims.
1916   J. H. Moore Universal Kinship 98   They have lain on the same great anvil, and felt the down-comings of the same sledge.
1953   M. Traynor Eng. Dial. Donegal 186   Matches (with view to marriage) are made in heaven, but a lot of them are misgiggled in the down-coming.
1988   G. Lamb Orkney Wordbk. at Down   Dooncoming, a sloping path or road: I met him in the dooncoming.

a1398—1988(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, December 2018).