verb (used with object)
  1. to transfer (software, data, character sets, etc.) from a distant to a nearby computer, from a larger to a smaller computer, or from a computer to a peripheral device.
  1. software, data, etc., that has been downloaded: the best free music downloads.
  2. the act or process of downloading.

Origin of download Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for downloading

load, compute, program, run, digitize, computerize, initialize, input, keyboard

Examples from the Web for downloading

Contemporary Examples of downloading

Historical Examples of downloading

  • They were easiest to solve with the whole team, downloading tons of dojinshi files and scouring them for answers to the puzzles.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow

British Dictionary definitions for downloading


verb (tr)
  1. to copy or transfer (data or a program) into the memory of one computer system from a larger one
  2. to broadcast specialist programmes, for such groups as doctors, outside normal broadcasting hours. They are often recorded on video tapes and viewed laterCompare upload
  3. esp Canadian to delegate or assign (work, responsibilities, costs, etc) to a someone at a lower level of an organization; off-load
  1. a file transferred onto a computer from another computer or the internet
Derived Formsdownloadable, adjective
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

Word Origin and History for downloading


1977 (n.), 1980 (v.), from down (adv.) + load (v.). Related: Downloaded; downloading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

downloading in Science


  1. To transfer data or programs from a server or host computer to one's own computer or digital device. Compare upload.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.