downstream

adverb or adjective down·stream \ ˈdau̇n-ˈstrēm \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of downstream

1 : in the direction of or nearer to the mouth of a stream
2 : in or toward the latter stages of a usually industrial process or the stages (such as marketing) after manufacture

Recent Examples of downstream from the Web

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

First Known Use of downstream

1706


Financial Definition of DOWNSTREAM

downstream

What It Is

Downstream refers to the benefits (or costs) that will ultimately result from decisions made today.

How It Works

In finance, a series of investments might be made with the anticipation that at a point in time in the future these efforts will yield a series of returns.  These returns occur after the initial investments.  As a result, they are referred to as downstream benefits.  Similarly, investments can have downstream "costs" as well.   The expectation is that the downstream benefits will outweigh the downstream costs.

At the same time, because the future is hard to predict, downstream effects are often unanticipated, setting off unintended costs and consequences.

Why It Matters

It is important to consider the "downstream" effects of an investment decision since it will impact ones future economic performance.


DOWNSTREAM Defined for English Language Learners

downstream

adverb

Definition of downstream for English Language Learners

  • : in the direction in which a stream, river, etc., flows


DOWNSTREAM Defined for Kids

downstream

adverb down·stream \ ˈdau̇n-ˈstrēm \

Definition of downstream for Students

: in the direction a stream is flowing
  • paddling downstream

Medical Dictionary

downstream

adverb or adjective down·stream \ ˌdau̇n-ˈstrēm \

medical Definition of downstream

1 : in the same direction along a molecule of DNA or RNA as that in which transcription and translation take place and toward the end having a hydroxyl group attached to the position labeled 3′ in the terminal nucleotide
  • a nucleotide sequence located downstream from the regulatory gene
  • effects on the expression of downstream genes
— compare upstream 1
2 : toward the end of a series of cellular processes : following a linked molecular event occurring in a sequence
  • But by looking downstream of the tumor suppressors [genes] at the proteins they influence, drug developers hope to find good targets.
  • —Marcia BarinagaScience7 Nov. 1997
  • The tyrosine kinase activity of phosphorylated EGFR [epidermal growth factor receptor] in cancer cells results in the phosphorylation of downstream proteins that incite cell proliferation, invasion, metastasis, and inhibition of apoptosis.
  • —Jonathan E. Dowell and John D. MinnaThe New England Journal of Medicine24 Feb. 2005


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to remove or wipe out

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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