All Downhill From Here: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
August 6, 2023

The idiom "all downhill from here" might sound like it's related to physical slopes, but it's more often about describing the ease or difficulty of a situation. It's like when you're climbing a mountain, and the ascent is tough, but once you reach the peak, going downhill is easier. Conversely, it can also imply that things were going well, but now they're about to get worse.

In short:

  • "All downhill from here" can mean that the hard part is over, and things will get easier.
  • Alternatively, it might mean that things are about to deteriorate or get worse.

What Does "All Downhill From Here" Mean?

The phrase "all downhill from here" can have two different interpretations, depending on the context. It might refer to a situation about to become easier or, conversely, to a situation about to decline.

Let's dig into its core meanings and usage:

  • It often means that the most challenging part of a task or situation is over, and things will become more manageable.
  • In a different context, it can signify that a situation is about to worsen or decline in quality or success.
  • People might use this phrase to either reassure someone that the hard work is done or to warn that things might take a turn for the worse.
  • For example, a sentence like "We've finished the difficult calculations tout de suite; it's all downhill from here" conveys optimism that the remaining work will be easier.
  • Conversely, saying, "After the team lost their star player and the pinch hitter was injured, it was all downhill from here," indicates a pessimistic view of future performance.
  • It's a metaphorical expression, comparing life's ups and downs to a physical landscape, where going uphill is hard and going downhill is easy or where going downhill signifies deterioration.

Where Does "All Downhill From Here" Come From?

The origin of "all downhill from here" seems to be linked to the literal experience of climbing a hill or mountain. Once you reach the summit, descending is usually easier, simplifying the connection to a task. Alternatively, the notion of going downhill as a decline in quality or success mirrors the physical act of descending, where losing altitude might signify a downturn.

Historical Example

"It's all downhill from here. By the time Hardin is through with Bonham, he has gotten the defendant to admit in so many words that the confession wasn't coerced at all, that he knew exactly what he was doing."

-Texas Monthly, Jan 1982

10 Examples of "All Downhill from Here" in Sentences

To help you understand when to use this phrase, let's look at examples from various situations:

  • I’ll keep you posted on the progress. It’s all downhill from here; we’ve done the hard part.
  • He finished his final exams, so it's all downhill from here for the semester.
  • You've done the hardest part of the training; it's all downhill from here, so keep up the good work!
  • The hiking trail was tough at the beginning, but it's all downhill from here.
  • About last night's event, once the keynote speech was over, it was all downhill from here, and everyone relaxed.
  • Once you get past this traffic, it's all downhill from here; drive safely!
  • She got a promotion, so it's all downhill from here in her career.
  • After bailing on me, I realized it was all downhill from here.
  • Once the band released their hit single, it was all downhill from here in popularity.
  • With the main part of the house built, it's all downhill from here in the construction process.

Examples of "All Downhill from Here" in Pop Culture

This phrase has appeared in popular culture, expressing the idea that things will become easier or decline.

Let's explore some instances:

  • "All Downhill From Here" is the title of a book by Paul Waters, describing a John o' Groats to Land's End cycling adventure.
  • Lynn Johnston's seventh collection, titled "It's All Downhill From Here," captures the joys and tribulations of "normal" life.
  • P.J. Night's book "It's All Downhill from Here" is a frighteningly fun addition to the "You're Invited to a Creepover" series.
  • "It's Not All Downhill From Here" is a novel by Terry McMillan exploring themes of loss, strength, and resourcefulness.
  • "All Downhill from Here" is a TV series from 2015 starring Brooke Adams, Lynne Adams, Joe Farina, and Sophie Shalhoub.
  • The movie "City Slickers" has a clip titled "It's All Downhill From Here," reflecting a moment in the film.
  • New Found Glory's fourth studio album, "Catalyst," features the single "All Downhill from Here," which contributed to the band's success.

Other/Different Ways to Say "All Downhill from Here"

There are several expressions that can mean the same thing as "all downhill from here."

Here are some of them:

  • Things will get easier
  • It's going to decline
  • Getting better from now on
  • Going downward
  • Improving from this point
  • The hard part is over
  • The situation will worsen
  • The worst is behind us
  • It's going to fall apart
  • The path ahead is smooth

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "All Downhill from Here":

  • What does "all downhill from here" mean?

"All downhill from here" can mean two things. It could mean that things are going to get easier from this point, like when you're going downhill, or that things will decline or deteriorate from here on out.

  • How can I use "all downhill from here" in a sentence?

You can use this phrase to describe a situation that will become easier or that will decline. For example, “Your assistance with the early stages of the project was much appreciated, and now it's all downhill from here.” Or, “After my cousin's bad experience with the loan shark , it was all downhill from here.”

  • Is "all downhill from here" a positive or negative saying?

This phrase can be both positive and negative. If it's used to mean things are getting easier, it's positive. If it's used to mean a decline, it's negative. Context will tell you how it's being used.

  • Where did the saying "all downhill from here" originate?

The saying likely comes from the literal experience of climbing a hill. Going uphill is hard, so once you're over the hill, it's easier or "all downhill." It later evolved to mean a decline or deterioration as well.

  • Can I use "all downhill from here" in formal writing?

Yes, you can, but be careful to make sure the context makes the meaning clear, as it can have both positive and negative connotations.

  • What's the opposite of "all downhill from here"?

The opposite would be something like "it's all uphill from here," meaning that things are going to get more difficult or challenging.

  • Does "all downhill from here" refer to a specific time period?

No, it doesn't refer to a specific time period. It simply means that from this point on, things will either become easier or decline.

  • Can this phrase be used in sports?

Yes, it's often used in sports to describe a turning point in a game or season, either for better or for worse, depending on the context.

  • Is "all downhill from here" used around the world?

This idiom is mainly used in English-speaking countries, and its understanding may vary in different cultures.

  • Is "all downhill from here" different from "going downhill"?

Yes, "going downhill" generally means declining or deteriorating, while "all downhill from here" can also mean that something is getting easier. So they're similar, but not exactly the same.

Final Thoughts About "All Downhill from Here"

What's intriguing about the idiom is its dual meaning. While it often indicates an easier path ahead, it can also imply a decline in quality or success. Context plays a key role in determining whether the phrase is used positively or negatively.

Here's a quick recap:

  • It highlights a turning point where things either get easier or begin to decline.
  • You often hear this phrase in various situations, such as after reaching a milestone in a project or during a significant change in a relationship or business.
  • Understanding the context is key to knowing whether it's being used positively or negatively. So keep an ear out for clues around the phrase next time you hear it.

Whether it's the relief of getting past a challenge or the concern of a decline, "all downhill from here" sums up those pivotal moments we all experience from time to time.

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