Definition of downtown in US English:



Pronunciation /ˌdaʊnˈtaʊn//ˌdounˈtoun/
North American
  • Of, in, or characteristic of the central area or main business and commercial area of a town or city.

    ‘downtown Chicago’
    ‘a downtown bar’
    • ‘The goal is to make it easier for commuters to get from downtown Sacramento to the city of Folsom.’
    • ‘From the main fire station in downtown Tampa, officials in a meeting heard the fire a mile away.’
    • ‘It is going to be a big event, with about 800 guests and in an ancient convent in downtown Mexico City.’
    • ‘This process is characterized by an influx of private capital into distressed sections of downtown city areas.’
    • ‘There was a bar not too far from here, just in the downtown area of the city.’
    • ‘I suppose businesses themselves downtown San Diego are pretty much up and running.’
    • ‘I took a bus from the North Shore of Vancouver to the main downtown part of the city.’
    • ‘Similar plans have been developed in downtown Tempe, a city adjoining Phoenix.’
    • ‘A few days later I was walking along the main drag in downtown Boulder and saw her a few feet away from me.’
    • ‘For the city's coolest district, head for Deep Ellum, to the east of the main downtown area.’
    • ‘At that time he worked for a large firm in downtown New York City.’
    • ‘The requirement of hiring private security guards heralds a bonanza for downtown business.’
    • ‘Among them are a regular foot patrol in the city's downtown business area.’
    • ‘I know of more than a few south Asian restaurant and deli owners who are close to folding their business in downtown New York.’
    • ‘Avenues and the streets of central and downtown Havana turned into salt water rivers.’
    • ‘Shortly after that, my dad took me to downtown Oklahoma City to a little accordion shop.’
    • ‘The track runs alongside one of the main canals through the downtown area.’
    • ‘Last week, I was in New York City having lunch with a shift at rescue one downtown New York City.’
    • ‘He then stood, walked out of the bus port doors, and toward downtown North City.’
    • ‘The advent this week of an association to attract more business to downtown Limerick is welcome.’


Pronunciation /ˌdaʊnˈtaʊn//ˌdounˈtoun/
North American
  • In or into a downtown area.

    ‘I drove downtown’
    • ‘Sick of being miserable, she signs up for computer courses downtown, loses the specs and gets a whole new wardrobe.’
    • ‘The bike games were a big hit with the locals who lined the streets downtown Saturday evening to watch or even participate.’
    • ‘With his baseball cap and goatee, he would fit in perfectly with the demonstrators downtown.’
    • ‘At one point he mentions his decision to allow the boys to go downtown that night.’
    • ‘We have an apartment down by the United Nations that overlooks the East River and looks downtown.’
    • ‘She lived most of her 91 years downtown somewhere, in Berlin and in Vancouver.’
    • ‘The only thing they did to help was to e-mail me a list of alternate hotels downtown and in outlying areas.’
    • ‘My own computer is in my offices downtown, and I have been unable to access my account.’
    • ‘The college outgrew its quarters downtown and the Brothers acquired property in the Bronx.’
    • ‘As we drove downtown I could only wonder what Lycos could possibly be planning to do with the kids.’
    • ‘Pickard also feels that the act addresses fears that many women face when traveling alone in certain areas downtown.’
    • ‘On the buildings downtown are murals, several floors high, glorifying the martyrs of the revolution.’
    • ‘It looks as though the services will make it downtown this year, though, a nice change.’
    • ‘That site is at Bay, Broad and Forsyth streets, one of the busiest traffic areas downtown.’
    • ‘It's a happening little spot with gourmet fast food for lunchers downtown.’
    • ‘So that was how I ended up downtown the Saturday after I saw the ad in the paper.’
    • ‘Years ago I wrote an article for Vancouver magazine identifying the nicest public washrooms downtown.’
    • ‘The first I knew of events downtown came from a phone call from Europe.’
    • ‘There are still those who can't get into their apartments downtown.’
    • ‘A free bus is also available to get Koori youth and their parents downtown.’


Pronunciation /ˌdounˈtoun//ˌdaʊnˈtaʊn//ˈdaʊntaʊn//ˈdountoun/
North American
  • The downtown area of a town or city.

    ‘the heart of Pittsburgh's downtown’
    • ‘The much-improved quality of life in inner cities is the driving force behind the housing boom in downtowns across the country.’
    • ‘This led to the emergence of chains as downtown anchors in the ‘100% district,’ the most desirable locations in cities' downtowns.’
    • ‘Historically, the areas surrounding North American downtowns have been populated by recent immigrants, producing neighbourhoods such as Little Italy and Chinatown.’
    • ‘More importantly, he seems unaware that the primary mode of public transit when those downtowns and suburbs were built was the horsecar, a single-car mode of public transit with about half the carrying capacity of a modern bus.’
    • ‘We hear from reverse refugees, those who have fled the suburbs to revitalized downtowns, where they enjoy proximity to stores, parks, and community gardens.’
    • ‘An important question is the extent to which the downtowns in the metropolitan areas are similar.’
    • ‘I dislike cities' building sports arenas and faceless downtowns, because these often end up kicking people out of their homes and businesses through the eminent domain, and regardless, tend to be a waste of tax money.’
    • ‘Then he argues that this means attracting bohemian types who like funky, socially free areas with cool downtowns and lots of density.’
    • ‘He has assembled an enviable client list, working for a number of large American cities on rethinking how to approach downtowns.’
    • ‘The truck will cruise downtowns and high traffic areas, with stops at travel agencies and corporate locales to offer consumers a first-hand look at the new cabin.’
    • ‘In these areas, the historic downtowns often were only marginally important.’
    • ‘The station was, as usual, in the middle of nowhere, though I could see the downtown a mile or so away.’
    • ‘Sprawl expands everywhere but the center, leaving downtowns underutilized, neighborhoods abandoned.’
    • ‘It looks as if someone cares, which is more you can say for many towns with dying downtowns.’
    • ‘City downtowns were centers of institutional but also spatial power because the powerful were there.’
    • ‘Just take a walk around the downtowns of cities like St. Louis, Buffalo, and Philadelphia.’
    • ‘It is impossible to walk the streets of downtown and not be overwhelmed by the art and architecture of the area.’
    • ‘This is precisely the kind of structure that proliferated in countless downtowns and suburban office parks after World War II, resulting in an epidemic of visual sterility unprecedented in the annals of civilization.’
    • ‘Some areas, as you know, downtowns aren't as active, but in New Orleans, it's definitely a heavy district for businesses and work for individuals that live there in New Orleans.’
    • ‘In fact, having tech companies convert retail space may prevent downtown from turning into an outdoor shopping mall, which is what other neighboring downtowns have come to resemble.’