Read the following sentence:

It's a very steep road by the down.

Down has got a lot of meanings , but what does it mean here? by the down? I haven't read this type before so I've got no idea!

  • 2
    It is probably the meaning related to hills because the road is very steep. As in "Watership Down" and "The South Downs" (UK). Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 15:42

1 Answer 1


More context would be helpful, but it sounds like the word 'down' might be being used in its mainly British sense of an open chalk hill. Usually encountered as a plural, although the singular is possible. An area with a number of these is called 'downland'. A large part of southern England is made up of downland - the Berkshire Downs, the South Downs, and plenty of others, including the one in Kipling's poem "Merrow Down", which never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

Of all the Tribe of Tegumai
Who cut that figure, none remain,
On Merrow Down the cuckoos cry
The silence and the sun remain.
But as the faithful years return
And hearts unwounded sing again,
Comes Taffy dancing through the fern
To lead the Surrey spring again.

Full poem here

Downs (Geography)

  • I appreciate your keen interest in making every single doubt cleared! thanks
    – Ariana
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 18:09

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