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downfalling, adj.

Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: Formed within English, by derivation. Etymons: down- prefix, falling adj.

  That is falling down or in a downward direction; (also fig.) that is falling into disgrace or ruin; declining, decaying. Also: that leads to downfall or disgrace.

1573   J. Foxe in Tyndale Test. W. Tracie (new ed.) in Tyndale et al. Wks. 432 (margin)    The false fayth of the downe falling sinner.
1590   C. S. Briefe Resol. Right Relig. 14   The downfalling pride of the Pope.
1600   P. Holland tr. Livy Rom. Hist. xxvi. 617   You who have susteined and upheld the decaying and down-falling estate of the Romane Empire in this province.
1659   D. Pell Πελαγος 408   The Seamans high soaring sursums, and his down-falling deorsums.
1746   M. Clancy Hermon Prince of Choræa ii. 11   Mine is the weightier Care—a sinking State, A ruin'd People and downfalling King.
1757   Catal. & Descr. King Charles I's Coll. Pictures f. 94v   A black complexioned indifferent ancient man's head, with a little down-falling ruff, painted upon a board.
1799   W. Dunlap tr. A. von Kotzebue False Shame i. iii. 3   He will improve the muddy pool in Dian's bath—and the down-falling forcing-house—into a Chinese Kiosk.
1886   A. Winchell Walks & Talks in Geol. Field x. 60   A down-falling mass of vapor.
1929   Sunday Avalanche-Jrnl. (Lubbock, Texas) 5 Nov. (Western Weekly Mag. section) 6/1   Uprising sheets [of water] fought with downfalling sheets until the ship was misted to her rails.
1991   News Herald (Panama City, Florida) 3 Feb. 12 a/2   The number of baptisms has decreased every year. But with the war and a downfalling economy, that too could change, he said.
2013   Threepenny Rev. Spring 8/2   In the downfalling twilight I rested my brand-new cast on the armrest and admired its luminous whiteness.

1573—2013(Hide quotations)


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