I know the meaning of the phrase "from the bottom up". I am wondering if there is any "antonym" (quotation mark is used because using the word "antonym" here is not standard) for the phrase in question such as "from the top down". In the Internet I have found "from the top down" not established.

2 Answers 2


Actually, "from the top down" is a perfectly good phrase which probably means exactly what you want. I don't know why you think it's 'not established'; it's probably not as popular as "from the bottom up" but it's widely used and well understood.

  • Thank you so much. I think it is not established because in idiom dictionaries I have not found this phrase as I typed it in. While I can find "from the bottom up" in such dictionaries.
    – Yes
    Aug 8, 2014 at 3:31

Both "from the top down" and "from the bottom up" are fine.



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