Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Thoroughgoing; unequivocal.
  • adjective Forthright; candid.
  • adverb Thoroughly; absolutely.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Right down; straight down; perpendicularly.
  • In plain terms; without ceremony or circumlocution.
  • Completely; thoroughly; utterly: as, he is downright mad.
  • Forthwith; without delay; at once.
  • Directed vertically; coming straight down.
  • Directly to the point; plain; unambiguous; unevasive.
  • Using plain, direct language; accustomed to express opinions directly and bluntly; blunt.
  • Complete; absolute; utter.
  • noun One of the lower qualities or sorts of a fleece of wool.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb Straight down; perpendicularly.
  • adverb In plain terms; without ceremony.
  • adverb obsolete Without delay; at once; completely.
  • adjective Plain; direct; forthright; unceremonious; blunt; positive.
  • adjective Open; artless; undisguised; absolute; unmixed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Directed vertically; coming straight down.
  • adjective Directly to the point; plain; unambiguous; unevasive.
  • adjective Using plain direct language; accustomed to express opinions directly and bluntly; blunt.
  • adjective Complete; absolute; utter.
  • adverb Really; actually; quite; thoroughly; utterly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adverb thoroughgoing
  • adjective characterized by plain blunt honesty
  • adjective complete and without restriction or qualification; sometimes used informally as intensifiers

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, equivalent to down- +‎ right.

Examples

  • "Dat's what I calls downright robbery, Kun'l," he exclaimed, highly incensed.

    Mary Louise in the Country

  • Even when I introduced them in the most delicate way, he was what I call downright rude.

    The Squire of Sandal-Side A Pastoral Romance

  • Men are better judges of that than women; but for high, chivalrous spirit, for true principle and nobility, and what I call downright worth, I don't think you will easily find her superior.

    The Eustace Diamonds

  • "It's what I call downright Radical nonsense," said Mrs. Low, nodding her head energetically.

    Phineas Finn

  • "It's what I call downright Radical nonsense," said Mrs Low, nodding her head energetically.

    Phineas Finn

  • "It's what I call downright Radical nonsense," said Mrs. Low, nodding her head energetically.

    Phineas Finn The Irish Member

  • Men are better judges of that than women; but for high, chivalrous spirit, for true principle and nobility, and what I call downright worth, I don't think you will easily find her superior.

    The Eustace Diamonds

  • In resubmitting the legislation for renewal of what many consider the most controversial provisions -- and some label downright unconstitutional provisions -- within the Patriot Act, the Republican Rules Committee decided to allow only 60 minutes of debate.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • A lull; "You let that child alone!" child, evidently of few years, screaming in downright terror.

    THOSE ON THE EDGE

  • But lets face the facts when it comes to the actual execution of it he downright is nothing short of a failure.

    How's Obama doing?

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