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DOW'EL-ING, ppr.

Fastening together by dowel-pins.


A pin inserted in the edges of boards to fasten them together.

DOW'ER, n. [W. dawd, a gift; dawni, to endow; Fr. douaire, from douer, to endow. Supposed to be from L. dos, dotis, dotatio; Gr. δως, a gift, from διδωμι, to give, W. dodi, L. do. It is written in the Latin of the middle ages, dodarium, dotarium, douarium. Spelman. In Ir. diobhadth is dower.]

  1. That portion of the lands or tenements of a man which his widow enjoys during her life, after the death of her husband. – Blackstone. [This is the usual present signification of the word.]
  2. The property which a woman brings to her husband in marriage. – Dryden.
  3. The gift of a husband for a wife. Ask me never so much dowry and gift. – Gen. xxxiv.
  4. Endowment; gift. How great, how plentiful, how rich a dower. Davies.


Furnished with dower, or a portion. – Shak.


Destitute of dower; having no portion or fortune. – Shak.

DOW'ER-Y, or DOW'RY, n.

A different spelling of Dower, but little used, and they may well be neglected.


A kind of coarse linen cloth. – Shak.


A feather. [Not in use.] – Shak.

DOWN, adv.

  1. In a descending direction; tending from a higher to a lower place; as, he is going down.
  2. On the ground, or at the bottom; as, he is down; hold him down.
  3. Below the horizon; as, the sun is down.
  4. In the direction from a higher to a lower condition; as, his reputation is going down.
  5. Into disrepute or disgrace. A man may sometimes preach down error; he may write down himself or his character, or run down his rival; but he can neither preach nor write down folly, vice or fashion.
  6. Into subjection; into a due consistence; as, to boil down, in decoctions and culinary processes.
  7. At length; extended or prostrate, on the ground; or on any flat surface; as, to lie down; he is lying down. Up and down, here and there; in a rambling course. It is sometimes used without a verb, as down, down; in which cases the sense is known by the construction. Down with a building, is a command to pull it down, to demolish it. Down with him, signifies, throw him. Down, down, may signify, come down, or go down, or take down, lower. It is often used by seamen, down with the fore-sail, &c. Locke uses it for go down, or be received; as, any kind of food will down; but the use is not elegant, nor legitimate. Sidney uses it as a verb, “To down proud hearts,” to subdue or conquer them; but the use is not legitimate.

DOWN, n.1 [Sw. dun; D. dons; Dan. duun; Ice. Id. In Sw. dyna is a feather-bed, or cushion; Dan. dyne, Arm. dum, down. Qu. Class Dn, No. 25. But the primitive orthography and signification are uncertain.]

  1. The fine soft feathers of fowls, particularly of the duck kind. The eider duck yields the best kind. Also, fine hair; as, the down of the chin.
  2. The pubescence of plants, a fine hairy substance.
  3. The pappus or little crown of certain seeds of plants; a fine feathery or hairy substance by which seeds are conveyed to a distance by the wind; as in dandelion and thistle.
  4. Any thing that soothes or mollifies. Thou bosom softness; down of all my cares. – Southern.

DOWN, n.2 [Sw. dun; D. duin, a sandy hill; G. düne; Fr. dune, plur. dunes; Arm. dunenn, or tunenn. In French, dunette is the highest part of the poop of a ship, and as this appears to be a diminutive of dune, it proves that the primary sense is a hill or elevation.]

  1. A bank or elevation of sand, thrown up by the sea. – Encyc.
  2. A large open plain, primarily on elevated land. Sheep feeding on the downs. – Milton.

DOWN, prep. [Sax. dun, adun. In W. dwvyn is deep, Corn. doun, Arm. doun, Ir. domhain; and in Welsh, dan is under, beneath. In Russ. tonu is to sink.]

  1. Along a descent; from a higher to a lower place; as, to run down a hill; to fall down a precipice; to go down the stairs.
  2. Toward the mouth of a river, or toward the place where water is discharged into the ocean or a lake. We sail or swim down a stream; we sail down the Sound from New York to New London. Hence figuratively, we pass down the current of life or of time. Down the sound, in the direction of the ebb-tide toward the sea. Down the country, toward the sea, or toward the part where rivers discharge their waters into the ocean.

DOWN'-BEAR, v.t.

To bear down; to depress. – E. Irving.


Act of bearing down.


Bearing down.


A bed of down.


Cast downward; directed to the ground as, a downcast eye or look, indicating bashfulness, modesty or dejection of mind.


Sadness; melancholy look. [Obs.] – Beaum.


Casting down; dejecting.


Covered or stuffed with down. – Young.


  1. A falling, or body of things falling; as, the downfall of a flood. – Dryden.
  2. Ruin; destruction; a sudden fall, or ruin by violence, in distinction from slow decay or declension; as, the downfall of the Roman empire, occasioned by the conquests of the Northern nations; the downfall of a city.
  3. The sudden fall, depression or ruin of reputation or estate. We speak of the downfall of pride or glory, and of distinguished characters.


Fallen; ruined. Carew.


Hanging down like the loose cincture of fetters. – Stevens.


In seamen's language, a rope passing along a stay, through the cringles of the stay-sail or jib, and made fast to the upper corner of the sail, to haul it down. – Mar. Dict.


Dejected in spirits.