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adverb or adjective

down·​stage ˈdau̇n-ˈstāj How to pronounce downstage (audio)
: toward or at the front of a theatrical stage
: toward a motion-picture or television camera


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down·​stage ˈdau̇n-ˌstāj How to pronounce downstage (audio)
: the part of a stage that is nearest the audience or camera

Examples of downstage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
For example, as Mowgli prepared to shoot a bow and arrow, the moments learning how to do so with her mother were projected onto a downstage screen. Steven Vargas, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 Barely acknowledging the applause and cheers, Shorter stepped to a conga downstage. Jon Garelick,, 2 Mar. 2023 At the finale, the entire cast and both designers brought out chairs and posed as a group, Christmas-card style, downstage. Harper's BAZAAR, 3 Feb. 2023 At one point, there’s a misplaced spotlight, illuminating nobody, and a performer well downstage of it, looking at it like a member of the audience, regards the empty circle with something resembling suspicion. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 25 July 2022 The cast spends most of their time downstage, front and center. Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, 11 July 2022 Tesshi Nakagawa’s scenic design focuses attention on the handsome downstage dining area. Charles McNultytheater Critic, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2022 There’s the stage with different acoustics upstage and downstage, the orchestra level seating area, under the balcony, which is an extremely deep area with a low ceiling, and the upper balcony. oregonlive, 27 Sep. 2021 The piece ends with a massive, rectangular plank, with a relatively small square cut out at one end, tipping over and toward associate artistic director and longtime company performer Cassandre Joseph, standing downstage., 19 Aug. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'downstage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Adverb Or Adjective

1793, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1931, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of downstage was in 1793

Dictionary Entries Near downstage

Cite this Entry

“Downstage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


adverb or adjective
: toward or at the part of a theatrical stage or set closest to the audience or the motion-picture or television camera
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