What Goes Up Must Come Down

Meaning:

The term “what goes up must come down” is a phrase that means things that rise must eventually return to the earth due to gravity.

Example: Simon accidentally let go of the big balloon his parents had bought for him. As it slowly ascended into the sky, he wondered just how high it could go. So his parents told him: “What goes up must come down, it will fall back down to the earth eventually.”

Synonyms / Related Phrases:
No synonyms to list here.
What Goes Up Must Come Down, Hot Air Balloons

The Origin Of ‘What Goes Up Must Come Down’

Things that are launched into the air will return back to the ground. Why? Because gravity, that’s why! Whether it’s someone jumping up into the air as high as they can, a football being thrown over an open field, or an airplane flying from one country to another—all of these things cannot remain in the air forever. Eventually, due to the force of gravity, they will have to return to the ground. That is the idea behind the phrase. It’s basically a simple observation of what gravity does to people and objects.

This is one of the older phrases in English that is still in use today. Indeed, this saying is nearly 200 years old as it dates back to the early 19th century. Even at that time, its wording was identical to what it is today. For example, in Theodore Sedgwick’s Hints to my Countrymen, 1826, it reads:

“When one boy among a dozen throws a stone into the air, crying out, that ‘what goes up must come down,’ it is very likely so to happen.”


Example Sentences

  • Barnes was upset when his pet bird flew out the window. However, he knew that what goes up must come down, so he put a perch outside and hoped his bird would come back.
  • While golfing, name’s kid asked if he could hit the ball to the moon, to which he replied: “I can hit it far, but not that far; what goes up must come down.”

Tip: Know Your Phrase (that’s this website) has the meaning of hundreds of phrases! Explore through our list of expressions and find one to read about. You might even learn a little about its origin. How do you find the list? At the top of the page is a menu with letters. Simply pick a letter to start browsing.


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