be down

Idioms & Phrases

be down

  1. Be depressed, in low spirits, as in During the winter months Sue's always down, but spring cheers her up. [Colloquial; mid-1800s]

  2. Be knowledgeable, canny, or sophisticated, as in He was really down with the new group. This usage probably originated among jazz musicians. [Slang; mid-1940s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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