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[doun-streem] /ˈdaʊnˈstrim/
with or in the direction of the current of a stream.
of or relating to the latter part of a process or system.
Genetics. with or in the direction of transcription, translation, or synthesis of a DNA, RNA, or protein molecule.
Origin of downstream
First recorded in 1700-10; down1 + stream Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for downstream
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Midway in the passage, the current picked up the cub and swept him downstream.

    White Fang Jack London
  • In a few more minutes he could turn back and be sure Sim was downstream.

  • What was he going to do if none of the others joined him downstream?

    Storm Over Warlock Andre Norton
  • The roan, with Laramie's hand on his bridle, swept on downstream.

    Laramie Holds the Range

    Frank H. Spearman
  • “There; now you shall try and throw one downstream,” said Kenneth.

    Three Boys George Manville Fenn
  • They've gone on downstream, but we sure can't trail them in this light.

    Desert Conquest

    A. M. Chisholm
  • They won't be floating off downstream the minute we lay them on.

    The Box-Car Children Gertrude Chandler Warner
British Dictionary definitions for downstream


adverb, adjective
in or towards the lower part of a stream; with the current
(in the oil industry) of or for the refining, distribution, or marketing of oil or its derived products Compare upstream (sense 2)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for downstream
adv., adj.

1706, from down (prep.) + stream (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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