Down to earth idiom meaning & examples

A drawing of the earth from outer space. Caption: I was seated next to Leonardo DiCaprio on a flight to Los Angeles and I was shocked at how down to earth he was. We had a wonderful chat.


Down to earth idiom meaning:

  • realistic and practical
  • informal and easy to talk to
  • modest and unpretentious

Note:  This idiom is easy and helpful to visualize. It's helpful to also review related idioms.

We describe people who are down to earth as grounded. That means they "have their feet on the ground" and are connected to the earth—in contrast to having their "heads in the clouds," day dreaming of unrealistic or impractical things.

Also, someone whose feet are on the earth/ground are at the same level as other people. They are not floating above, superior to others ("stuck up" or "putting on airs"). They are not egotistical, with their "nose in the air" or "looking down their nose" on others.

Example sentences

— Naomi is amazing. She a multiple grand slam tennis player but she's so down to earth and easy to talk to.

— Our twins are completely different. One is a diva and impractical and the other is patient and down to earth.

— My roommate wants to install a pole in our living room so she can practice while we're watching tv at home. I wish she were a little more down to earth.

— Our director is down to earth. He's just as easy to talk to as any other person on the team.

— Presidents Clinton and Obama seemed very down to earth. People could easily relate to them.

— You're so lucky your girlfriend is so down to earth and easy to be with. 

— My assistant's latest idea is to start a doggy day care in our small conference room. I really like her but I wish she were more down to earth.

— The professors at my university in the U.S. are down to earth and don't object to being challenged or questioned in class.

— How is the new legal intern? Let's just say she's not down to earth and we won't be extending her an offer.

— I'm down to earth but don't mistake that for meaning you can push me over. I definitely stand my ground when needed.


  • matter of fact
  • no nonsense
  • have one's feet on the ground
  • have common sense


  • have your head in the clouds
  • have your nose in the air
  • stuck up
  • with your nose in the air

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