down·​town | \ˌdau̇n-ˈtau̇n \

Definition of downtown 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or located in the lower part or business center of a city or town

2 : hip, trendy downtown music


down·​town | \ˌdau̇n-ˈtau̇n, ˈdau̇n-ˌ \

Definition of downtown (Entry 2 of 2)

: the lower part of a city or town also : the main business district or central part of a city or town

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Other Words from downtown


downtown adverb


downtowner \ -​ˈtau̇-​nər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for downtown

Synonyms: Adjective

au courant, cool [slang], def [slang], groovy, hep, hip, in, mod, now, trendy, turned-on, with-it

Antonyms: Adjective

out, uncool, unhip, untrendy

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Examples of downtown in a Sentence


the downtown clientele of this bistro come to be seen, and the food is only an afterthought

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat (May 11) As Jim Jarmusch’s early producer and romantic partner, filmmaker Sara Driver comes by her downtown New York know-how honestly. Vogue, "The 13 Documentaries You Need to See This Summer," 21 May 2018 The aldermen say this would be the first Chicago street renaming since 1968, when South Park Drive was renamed to honor Martin Luther King Jr., and the first downtown street named for a woman and a person of color. John Greenfield, Chicago Reader, "News / Politics ‘Ida B. Wells Drive’ introduced in City Council: ‘She was a pillar of the community’," 23 May 2018 The 23-year-old has been bringing her remixed take on old-school vocals to downtown New York recently, rendering onlookers silent. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "This Singer-Songwriter Is the Downtown New York Fashion Scene’s Newest Muse," 19 Apr. 2018 Hilton said the total number of people downtown Wednesday night was estimated at about 8,000 people. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Despite drowning, Fourth of July fireworks-related 911 calls down significantly in Elgin," 5 July 2018 Adding driverless cars to that mix would increase travel time in downtown Boston by more than 5 percent, the new study concludes, as more transit riders opt for door-to-door service for short trips between two downtown points. Adam Vaccaro,, "Driverless cars might make Boston traffic worse," 27 June 2018 Perch, a new 12th-floor cafe/coffee bar/cocktail bar in the new Frost Tower in downtown Fort Worth, has an open-air balcony patio that wraps around a corner, providing some great northwest, east and downtown views. Robert Philpot, star-telegram, "Backyard hangouts, roofs with a view and more: 12 new restaurant patios for 2018 | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 17 May 2018 Bristol Hospital is building a three-story medical office building and lab on the former mall property, which is expected to bring hundreds of workers and patients downtown every day. Don Stacom, Courant Community, "New Brewery Looks to Offer Craft Beer In Bristol By End of 2018," 13 July 2018 This annual festival dominates downtown Eagle River and has a schedule filled to the brim with food, vendors and amusing events. Anchorage Daily News, "Coming up: a new brewery debut, Spectrum music festival and Bear Paw," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His great-uncle Ted —- a longtime federal judge — is the namesake of the federal courthouse in downtown Detroit. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Andy Levin looks to take dad Sander Levin's seat in Congress," 13 July 2018 One prominent effort to do so is being masterminded from the top floor of an art-deco building in downtown San Francisco. The Economist, "Fork in the roadShould the party move to the left or to the centre?," 12 July 2018 Mitch Richmond arrives first and settles into a blue lounge chair inside a hotel suite 11 floors above downtown San Francisco. Greg Bishop,, "Run TMC Lives on as the Rare Team Celebrated for Style Rather Than Record," 28 June 2018 The news comes as downtown Detroit sees a revival, with real estate booming and more companies attracting a young workforce from the surrounding suburbs. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "Ford taps Snøhetta to design new downtown Detroit campus," 26 June 2018 Ford also has to contend with its crosstown neighbor General Motors that maintains its world headquarters in downtown Detroit. Tamara Warren, The Verge, "Inside Detroit’s crumbling train station that Ford plans to transform into a mobility lab," 20 June 2018 Prior to Friday's presentation the group and the city were mired in controversy over the naming of a street in downtown Detroit. Gary Graff, Billboard, "The Jackson 5 Receive Keys to the City in Detroit: 'Coming Back to Detroit is Like Coming Home'," 16 June 2018 On Wednesday, protesters surrounded Lake Eola in downtown Orlando to ask Gov. Rick Scott to drop his appeals of a lawsuit brought by Orlando attorney John Morgan to allow smokeable marijuana. Marco Santana,, "Marijuana advocates promote education amidst growing legalization push," 14 July 2018 The franchise was formally awarded by MLS in January at a carnival-like gathering in downtown Miami while confetti rained down and soccer enthusiasts chanted and cheered. Craig Davis,, "David Beckham, Jorge Mas encounter opposition in latest bid for Miami MLS stadium," 13 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of downtown


1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1845, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for downtown

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for downtown

The first known use of downtown was in 1836

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More Definitions for downtown



English Language Learners Definition of downtown

: the main or central part of a city or town : the part of a city or town where there are tall buildings, stores, offices, etc.


down·​town | \ˌdau̇n-ˈtau̇n, ˈdau̇n-ˌtau̇n\

Kids Definition of downtown

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the main or central part of a city or town


down·​town | \ˌdau̇n-ˈtau̇n \

Kids Definition of downtown (Entry 2 of 2)

: to or toward the main or central part of a city or town walked downtown

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Comments on downtown

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


full of whispering sounds

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