down·​town | \ ˌdau̇n-ˈtau̇n How to pronounce downtown (audio) \

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 How to pronounce downtown (audio) , ˈdau̇n-ˌtau How to pronounce downtown (audio) \

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 \ ˌdau̇n-​ˈtau̇-​nər How to pronounce downtowner (audio) \ 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

While Duncan was perplexed as to why more people weren’t calling downtown home, Rodie wanted to know what residents who were there did for entertainment and nightlife. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "‘Profit-with-a-purpose’ Churchill thrives in downtown Phoenix," 4 July 2019 Millions in tax revenue goes toward marketing Detroit A good chunk of the taxes that are collected downtown stay downtown rather than going into the city’s general fund or to local schools. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "How downtown Detroit's taxes work and who really pays them," 4 June 2019 The proposal came together over the last year or so, Kenny said, as Shelbourne not only bought two major chunks of Pratt Street but solidified its position as the largest owner of top-tier, downtown office space. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "$100M plan to redevelop Hartford’s Pratt Street would add apartments, retail and dining in downtown," 20 June 2019 Brian Isaack Clyde’s assault on the Earle Cabell Federal Building marks downtown Dallas’ second high-profile shooting by a U.S. Army veteran in less than three years. Jake Bleiberg, Twin Cities, "Photographer recounts facing Dallas gunman, who could have shot him," 18 June 2019 Its presence spurred more downtown construction, including of office buildings and high-end apartments. Dan Mcgowan,, "Providence Place: With 150 stores, it’s trying to figure out what’s next in a rocky retail climate," 11 June 2019 The shrieking of the San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s downtown whistle at 4:03 a.m., heard over a radius up to two miles, was the first signal to thousands of citizens that the invasion had started. The Tribune-sun, San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: 75 years ago the Allies stormed beachheads in France," 6 June 2019 At Seattle’s Pike Place Market, where a ragtag collection of produce, meat, and seafood stalls overlooks the city’s downtown waterfront, crowds gather around comforting displays of food. Corey Arnold, National Geographic, "Why wild salmon remains king in the Pacific Northwest," 27 Mar. 2019 Heavy cloud cover Wednesday morning blocked at least downtown Portland's view of the celestial show., "Portland Wednesday weather: Too cloudy for the super blue blood moon; showers with high of 48," 31 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Catty-corner to Zoi House, a Manhattan developer is planning X-Orlando, which would be the largest residential building in downtown. Ryan Gillespie,, "Downtown Orlando could be going up, as towering Vertical Medical City moves forward in North Quarter," 12 July 2019 The project is part of a larger effort to redevelop the Superior Arts District, which sits just east of downtown. Jordyn Grzelewski,, "Superior Arts District renaissance continues with conversion of former garment factory into housing, cafe," 12 July 2019 In March 2016, the City of Cincinnati named a portion of Walnut Street downtown in her honor. Mark Curnutte,, "Marian Spencer, a segregation fighter who later served on City Council, dead at age 99," 10 July 2019 WorkSuites is taking almost 30,000 square feet of space in the CBS Radio Tower at 4131 North Central Expressway north of downtown. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Coworking company snaps up North Dallas office space," 9 July 2019 AfroFuture Fest is scheduled to run from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Feedom Freedom Grounds, the site of a community garden flanked by a small vacant lot about six miles northeast of downtown. Washington Post, "Detroit event tickets initially more for whites than blacks," 8 July 2019 Google has been gobbling up property in downtown San Jose, some from the city at prices far above their previous assessments. Kathleen Pender,, "Property tax rolls in Bay Area rise 6.6% to $1.8 trillion," 5 July 2019 The milkshake-throwing happened in downtown as left-wing groups clashed with right-wing groups in a meeting of supporters of the Proud Boys, the #HimToo movement and Rose City Antifa., "Milkshakes -- the latest protest tool -- make splash in Portland," 1 July 2019 Ferndale is expecting a new rainbow crosswalk in downtown on 9 Mile Road. Dixita Limbachia, Detroit Free Press, "Rain delays installation of rainbow crosswalk in Ferndale," 24 June 2019

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


1837, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1845, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for downtown

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for downtown

The first known use of downtown was in 1837

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English Language Learners Definition of downtown

chiefly US : 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 How to pronounce downtown (audio) , ˈdau̇n-ˌtau̇n\

Kids Definition of downtown

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the main or central part of a city or town


down·​town | \ ˌdau̇n-ˈtau̇n How to pronounce downtown (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on downtown

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with downtown

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for downtown

Spanish Central: Translation of downtown

Nglish: Translation of downtown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of downtown for Arabic Speakers

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).


to complain fretfully

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