ups and downs


ups and downs


  • good times and bad times
  • a sequence of good and bad happenings
  • alternating periods of good and bad feelings
  • the phrase is used to describe the different phases in life

Example Sentences

  1. Every relationship has its ups and downs. It is important to stick it out.
  2. Our company has had a lot of ups and downs over the years.
  3. I have my ups and downs, but I am doing a lot better since starting the medication.
  4. Presently, I am going through the ups and downs in my life.
  5. He has seen lots of ups and downs in his career but finally became richest person in the town.


The first recorded use of the phrase was in 1659. It is not clear exactly where it was recorded. It is a popular phrase that can be found in literature dating back to before that time. However, as it was translated from other languages it is not clear exactly how the phrase was used in the original text.

It can be found in “The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes and of His Fortunes and Adversities” a Spanish novel from 1554:

Ups and downs, generosity, dark fates, the most delicate goodness, have nowhere been more prominent than in the private existence of those devoted to the public mimicry of men and women.

The phrase can also be found in the translation of Aesop’s fable “The charger and the miller” It was translated in 1887.

The Miller responded: “Stop harping on what has past. It is the common fate of all to question the ups and downs of fortune.”

The phrase is always used in the plural.

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