[adverb, noun doun-stairz; adjective doun-stairz]
  1. Also down·stair. pertaining to or situated on a lower floor, especially the ground floor.
  1. (used with a singular verb) the lower floor or floors of a building: The downstairs is being painted.
  2. the stairway designated for use by people descending: Don't try to go up the downstairs.

Origin of downstairs

First recorded in 1590–1600; down1 + stair + -s3 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for downstair

Historical Examples of downstair

  • Phœbe Smith and her husband Sam lived in one of the downstair rooms.

    Two Suffolk Friends

    Francis Hindes Groome

  • He failed, however, to find it in any of the downstair sitting-rooms.

    Cripps, the Carrier

    R. D. (Richard Doddridge) Blackmore

  • It was seven o'clock when she arrived home again, and Edith Franks was waiting for her in the downstair hall.

  • At last I saw that there was a small pane of glass gone in one of the downstair windows.

British Dictionary definitions for downstair


  1. down the stairs; to or on a lower floor
    1. a lower or ground floor
    2. (as modifier)a downstairs room
  1. British informal, old-fashioned the servants of a household collectivelyCompare upstairs (def. 6)
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 downstair


adv., adj.

1590s, from down (adv.) + stairs (see stair).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper