Green’s Dictionary of Slang

down v.2

[abbr. SE knock down]
(US)

1. to beat up; to assault; thus downer, a knock-down or knock-out blow.

[UK]Paul Pry 30 Sept. 181/4: [headline] Championship of England Disputed / And a Downer for Deaf Burke.
[UK]Egan ‘The Bould Yeoman’ in Farmer Musa Pedestris (1896) 137: But said he I will not down you, if you will but disburse / Your rowdy with me, yeoman – I’m content to whack your purse!
[UK]J. Greenwood Seven Curses of London 190: He’ll ‘down’ you with a ‘one’r’ [...] if Mother H — only gives him the wink.
[UK]W.E. Henley unpublished ballad: Then I downs my bleeding Judy, And puts a new head on her [F&H].
[US]G. Devol Forty Years a Gambler 52: I downed him, and was just getting ready to go to work, when the police rushed in.
[UK]J. Greenwood Behind A Bus 105: I found his hand in my pocket where my money was. And then I ‘downed’ him with my stick.
[UK]Marvel III:58 17: I thought as it ‘ud be a-hangin’ job when I had to down old Malham with my jemmy.
[US]‘A-No. 1’ From Coast to Coast with Jack London 105: And who are you that you dared to down our ‘Bad Bill,’ as we locally know him best?
[UK]Marvel 10 July 15: ‘Hold him!’ roared the Spider, beside himself with fury. ‘Down him!’.
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 213: A policeman fell, downed by a brick.
[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia (1939) 374: Then someone yelled, ‘Foul! — Barsted knee’d him!’ Babble of voices. ‘Down him!’.
[US]W. Guthrie Bound for Glory (1969) 140: Downed ’im three times!
[UK]‘Frank Richards’ Billy Bunter at Butlins 34: He wouldn’t blame a fellow for chipping in to help a man who was downed by a footpad.
[US]E. Bunker Animal Factory 66: Ponchie’s boys are gonna down somebody.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 105: The endgame is literally to ground your opponent [...] So you attempt to deck, drop, down, or dust him with all due speed.
[US]P. Munro Sl. U. 73: Did you see the shiner on Sam? His girlfriend must have downed him again.

2. to defeat.

[US]Daily Trib. (Bismarck, ND) 5 Sept. 11/5: Holy smoke, you ought to see me down Phil Sheridan on ‘draw’ [...] he can’t play draw a little bit.
[US]A.H. Lewis Wolfville 15: Never let no kyard-thief down you.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 3 Jan. 2/6: As it was, he downed a smart customer in the Carbine colt, Carabine, in the Viceroy Cup.
[UK]Sporting Times 1 Apr. 1/5: [He had] been previously reproached for downing his men too quickly.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 18 July 15/1: Dozens of white women [...] vainly endeavor to establish themselves in the wash industry, and are downed because the very people who fight for White Australia with their mouths fight against it with their pockets.
[UK]J. Buchan Mr Standfast (1930) 573: You won’t get any heroics about war from me. I’m all for peace, but we’ve got to down those devils first.
[UK]H.L. Davis Honey in Horn 231: I could [...] pick a fight with him. Maybe if I jump on him I could down him, and then I’d be rid of him for good.
[Ire](con. 1880–90s) S. O’Casey I Knock at the Door 74: They were watching their chance for years, and Kitty O’Shea is only an excuse for downing him.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 11: ‘It’s men,’ she said. ‘Everywhere you go they’re runnin’ things. Tryin’ to down you.’.
[US]N. Heard To Reach a Dream n.p.: scorn the can / learn flimflam / down the man / never be a Sam.

3. to shoot dead.

[US]A.H. Lewis Wolfville 55: This yere second Mexican is downed on the run-in.
[US]Z. Grey Fighting Caravans (1992) 89: I guess I’ve downed my first redskin.
[US]O. Strange Sudden 9: If he downs Pug this yer town won’t go inta mournin’.
[US]E. Little Another Day in Paradise 237: I don’t work with niggers. We came here to down some. Not work with one of the motherfuckers.

In phrases