Definitions

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

  • adj. Of or relating to a hierarchical structure or process that progresses from a large, basic unit to smaller, detailed subunits: a top-down description of the department's function.
  • adj. Commanded by or originating from ones having the highest rank.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of, or relating to a hierarchical system that progresses from a single, large basic unit to multiple, smaller subunits

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

  • adj. of an approach to a problem that begins at the highest conceptual level and works down to the details

Etymologies

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