down·​stage | \ˈdau̇n-ˈstāj \

Definition of downstage 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : toward or at the front of a theatrical stage

2 : toward a motion-picture or television camera


down·​stage | \-ˌstāj \

Definition of downstage (Entry 2 of 2)

: the part of a stage that is nearest the audience or camera

Examples of downstage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Upstage is at the former home of Clockwise Theatre at 221 N. Genesee St., just a few blocks from the downstage venue at 115 N. Genesee St., where the theater festival is being held. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Local playwrights' new works staged during Waukegan Theatre Festival," 23 Jan. 2018 Racine and Anaia open the play downstage center, in glaring light, positioned in a way that invites — no, dares — us to stare at them. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘Is God Is’ Reinvents the Good, the Bad and the Ugly," 18 Feb. 2018 The shows are being held at Three Brothers Theatre's smaller downstage theater. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Local playwrights' new works staged during Waukegan Theatre Festival," 23 Jan. 2018 Baryshnikov's route to the stage takes him through a door at the back of the structure, across its near-empty interior, and finally out a downstage set of doors. Tony Adler, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Dance / Poetry / Theater Brodsky/Baryshnikov is a meditation on mortality, with a little bit of dancing," 3 Feb. 2018 Throughout the two-hour program, Mr. Springsteen appeared as approachable and amiable, occasionally wandering downstage to address the assembly. Jim Fusilli, WSJ, "The Boss on Broadway," 12 Oct. 2017 And then, at the precise right moment, U2's drummer, Larry Mullen Jr., walks downstage to the drum kit. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "Every Night Perfect," 5 Sep. 2017 But instead of bringing the action and minimal set downstage, everything is moved to the wall furthest from the seats. Lee Williams,, "Poor staging shades Profile Theatre's '26 Miles' (review)," 18 June 2017 Clair marshaled the combined forces of the singers, the orchestra and the Pacific Chorale efficiently under trying circumstances – his back is to the action, most of which happens in a small downstage sandbox. Orange County Register, "‘Aida’ features a memorable debut in Costa Mesa," 24 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downstage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of downstage

Adverb or adjective

1793, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1931, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about downstage

Statistics for downstage

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for downstage

The first known use of downstage was in 1793

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for downstage



English Language Learners Definition of downstage

: toward the front part of a stage

More from Merriam-Webster on downstage

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with downstage

Comments on downstage

What made you want to look up downstage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!