12 Nouns With “Down”

English is a very flexible language, and one of the things we can do is to create nouns from verbs (and verbs from nouns!) See here for 25 common phrasal nouns.

In this post, I’ve got twelve nouns formed with “down”. Be careful of the spelling – some of these nouns use hyphens.

Nouns With Down

breakdown = when your car stops working
“We had a breakdown on the motorway.”

breakdown = detailed explanation of each fact / figure
“This table shows the breakdown of our costs.”

breakdown = collapse (mental health)
“After her marriage ended, she suffered from a breakdown.”

clampdown / crackdown = when the authorities become very strict about something
“There’s been a police crackdown / clampdown on fake medicines.”

comedown = disappointment (after anticipation)
“We waited for months to see the show, but it was a real comedown. The acting was terrible and the songs were long and boring.”

dressing-down = criticism (in person)
“She gave her son a dressing-down for his poor marks at school.”

hand-me-down = clothes, etc that are given to someone else after a person has finished with them (often from older child to younger child)
“She was sick of wearing her sister’s hand-me-downs and dreamt of buying fashionable clothes for herself.”

let-down = a disappointment
“He was a real let-down to his parents. He never studied at school and he showed no ambition.”

lockdown = when you can’t leave your house
“We’ve been in lockdown for a month.”

put-down = a critical comment or reply
“This comedian is famous for his put-downs of the audience.”

rundown = summary / explanation
“Can you give me a rundown of the situation?”

shakedown = a careful search (often for illegal things)
“Police went to the house and gave it a thorough shakedown.”

shakedown = when a situation becomes more settled after change
“We expect there to be a six-month shakedown period after the new management team re-organises the company.”

showdown = a discussion to settle a long-standing dispute (you expect it to be angry)
“We’re preparing for a showdown with the lawyers next week.”

teardown = criticism of someone’s work
“In his presentation he did a teardown of various websites. It was very interesting.”

Nouns made from phrasal verbs are very common in spoken English. When you use them, you’ll sound more natural and more like a native English speaker! Learn phrasal verbs in context when you join the English Fluency Club – a place where you can learn and practise your English and get my expert support!

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