AskDefine | Define downtown

Dictionary Definition

downtown adj : of or located in the lower part of a town, or in the business center; "downtown Manhattan"; "delinquents roaming the downtown streets" [ant: uptown] n : the commercial center of a town or city [syn: business district] adv : toward or in the lower or central part of town [ant: uptown]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. In the context of "mostly|US": either the lower, or the business center of a city or town
  2. Outside the three-point line, or generally far from the basket.
    That shot came from way downtown!


either the lower, or the business center of a city or town
(basketball) Outside the three-point line, or generally far from the basket



  1. in, or towards the downtown area
    You need to go downtown four blocks.


  1. of, relating to, or situated in the downtown area
    John walked everyday to his downtown job.

See also

Extensive Definition

Downtown is a term primarily used in North America to refer to a city's core, usually in a geographical, commercial, and community sense.


The term is thought to have been coined in New York City, where it was in use by the 1830s to refer to the original town at the southern tip of the island of Manhattan. As the town of New York grew into a city, the only direction it could grow on the island was toward the north, proceeding upriver from the original settlement (the "up" and "down" terminology in turn came from the customary map design in which up was north and down was south). It was not included in dictionaries as late as the 1880s. By the early 1900s, downtown was clearly established as the proper term in American English for a city's central business district.
In most other North American cities, "downtown" is the formal name of the neighborhood in which the city's central business district is located. Someone or something within the boundaries of that neighborhood is said to be "in downtown" rather than "downtown".


downtown in Arabic: وسط البلد
downtown in Bulgarian: Даунтаун
downtown in Czech: Downtown
downtown in German: Downtown
downtown in Spanish: Distrito financiero
downtown in Persian: مرکز شهر
downtown in Portuguese: Downtown
downtown in Romanian: Centru civic
downtown in Simple English: Downtown
downtown in Slovak: Downtown
downtown in Swedish: Downtown

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Bowery, Chinatown, East End, East Side, Little Hungary, Little Italy, West End, West Side, barrio, black ghetto, blighted area, burghal, business district, central city, citified, city, city center, civic, core, ghetto, greenbelt, inner city, interurban, metropolitan, midtown, municipal, oppidan, outskirts, red-light district, residential district, run-down neighborhood, shopping center, skid road, skid row, slum, slums, suburban, suburbia, suburbs, tenderloin, tenement district, town, uptown, urban, urban blight, village
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