Definition of top-down in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtäp ˌdoun/


1Denoting a system of government or management in which actions and policies are initiated at the highest level; hierarchical.
Example sentences
  • Ties reinforced at the Grove manifest themselves in global trade meetings, party politics, campaign financing, and top-down democracy.
  • With production so close to home, the practice of trade is not top-down, mass-market, and imposed by corporate distribution systems.
  • There is no top-down hierarchy that can easily be disrupted, no carefully organised cell structure that resists but is ultimately vulnerable to covert subversion, no nation state that can be battered into submission.
2Proceeding from the general to the particular: a top-down approach to research
More example sentences
  • The top-down approach means testing general ideas of future direction against detailed options.
  • Taking a top-down approach already implies a categorisation attempt that is outside of the sphere of influence of the wiki contributors, which kind of counteracts the point of a wiki.
  • This claim is important to George because he is interested in dismantling a top-down approach wherein a theoretical model is brought to shed light on a literary text.
2.1 Computing Working from the top or root of a treelike system toward the branches.
Example sentences
  • Our battle is with the closed, top-down silo-oriented value system that has been with us since the dawn of the Industrial Age.
  • On the other hand, whereas the Cathedral thrives on monolithic management, the Linux project has neither top-down planning nor a central body vested with binding and enforcing authorities.
  • They make sense for a relatively homogeneous, top-down digital library development program.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: top-down

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