The cold air of winter drew down the crops. From my workbook.

What is this down? Is this like breathe over?

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    Congrats! You've found a valid English sentence that has all us native speakers scratching our heads and making wild stabs at it. Jul 10, 2015 at 21:51

3 Answers 3


A little more context would make this much more clear. It reads pretty ambiguous as is. It could mean the breeze comes down from above and flows through the crops, or it could mean it knocked the crops over (violent, cold wind), or perhaps something completely different. Winter and crops don't go together in general either as not much can be grown in the winter.

The previous and following sentence should make it much clearer.


Wow, it is not obvious what that sentence means.

One meaning of "to draw down" is "to deplete". But we use the word deplete with quantities and collections, and crops aren't usually quantities or collections. That is, you can draw down your stores of grain, but we wouldn't usually say that of crops.

Another meaning of "to draw down" is to, literally, physically, pull something towards the earth. "I asked him to draw down the branch of the apple tree so I could pick some apples." This was my first guess about this sentence, that it was referring to the cold air of winter physically knocking over or wilting crop plants. But neither of those senses involves pulling so it felt off.


Although it's not completely clear, it's likely meant as similar to "I was walking down the lane", where "down" is a synonym for "along".

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