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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for downstream

Contemporary Examples of downstream

Historical Examples of downstream

  • 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

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 productsCompare upstream (def. 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

Word Origin and History for downstream
adv., adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper