adjective Computers.

1960–65 Unabridged

structured programming

noun Computers.
the design and coding of programs by a methodology (top-down) that successively breaks problems into smaller, nested subunits.

1970–75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
controlled, directed, or organized from the top

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
In a top-down system, this has created a bottleneck as people wait for a signal
  from above.
According to the president, poverty is reduced not from a top-down approach but
  from the bottom up.
Biologists define the series of top-down changes as a trophic cascade.
Air traffic, on the other hand, is already highly regulated by a top-down
  system of airport controllers.
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