[adverb, noun doun-stairz; adjective doun-stairz]


to or on a lower floor.


Also down·stair. pertaining to or situated on a lower floor, especially the ground floor.


(used with a singular verb) the lower floor or floors of a building: The downstairs is being painted.
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. 2019

Examples from the Web for downstairs

Contemporary Examples of downstairs

Historical Examples of downstairs

  • Downstairs, Christine and Palmer had entered on the round of midwinter gayeties.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • "They're going to have it downstairs in the kitchen," soliloquized he.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Mon petit Dame was waiting for me downstairs in the concierge's room.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Once more she is downstairs, in the lane which the dancers are making for their last reel.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • Downstairs the door-bell rang, and Alice's arms jerked with the shock.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

British Dictionary definitions for downstairs



down the stairs; to or on a lower floor


  1. a lower or ground floor
  2. (as modifier)a downstairs room
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 downstairs
adv., adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper