Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Made of or covered with down.
  • adj. Resembling down: downy white clouds.
  • adj. Quietly soothing; soft.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having down, covered with a soft fuzzy coating as of small feathers.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Covered with down, or with pubescence or soft hairs.
  • adj. Made of, or resembling, down. Hence, figuratively: Soft; placid; soothing; quiet.
  • adj. Cunning; wary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having downs; containing downs.
  • Covered with down or nap.
  • Having the character or structure of down; resembling down: as, downy plumage.
  • Made of down or soft feathers.
  • Soft; soothing; calm.
  • Knowing; cunning: as, a downy cove.

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

  • adj. like down or as soft as down
  • adj. covered with fine soft hairs or down

Etymologies

down +‎ -y (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Benelli's UltraLight 12 gauge was the last word in downy-light autoloaders - until now.

    10 New Shotguns from the 2008 SHOT Show

  • The men share the troubles of nursing with the women, and the babies, tied on their mother's or father's back, seem as content as if they were rocked in downy cradles.

    Six Months in Mexico

  • The latter two are almost counterparts of each other, although the downy is the more common.

    The Log of the Sun A Chronicle of Nature's Year

  • The timing corresponds with the formation of spores in a funguslike pathogen that attacks the plant and results in a condition known as downy mildew disease.

    NYT > Home Page

  • It's called downy mildew, an aggressive new disease that has wiped out basil crops in parts of the U.S. and was recently spotted in Ontario.

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • A potentially fatal fungal disease called downy mildew has been attacking basil plants in

    NPR Topics: News

  • Stingless bees can mummify invading beetles in resin scientists have found that stingless bees are not easy targets for predators, as they can mummify invading parasitic beetles in The Salt Lake TribuneUpdated: 12/21/2009 12: 27: 04 PM MST Downy woodpecker by Paul Higgins Picoides pubescens The downy is the smallest and most widespread of American

    Medlogs - Recent stories

  • Common diseases of sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) such as downy mildew, septoria leaf spot, rust and sclerotinia wilt are regarded as potential problems.

    Chapter 20

  • I can only say that at sundown we passed out of the Rebel lines, and at ten o'clock that night stretched our tired limbs on the "downy" cots in General

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 83, September, 1864

  • His plumage was a dirty brown to begin with, with a sort of grey scab that fell off it very soon, and scarcely feathers -- a kind of downy hair.

    The Country of the Blind, and Other Stories

Comments

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  • wiki: "Often overlooked, downy spells its name with a lower-case "D". This helps to distinguish it from like-named bands, such as Downy Mildew."

    March 19, 2010