downgrade

noun
down·grade | \ˈdau̇n-ˌgrād \

Definition of downgrade 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a downward grade (as of a road)

2 : a descent toward an inferior state a career on the downgrade

downgrade

verb

Definition of downgrade (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to lower in quality, value, status, or extent

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Examples of downgrade in a Sentence

Noun

a downgrade in the company's stock prices a singing career on the downgrade

Verb

The restaurant was downgraded from three to two stars. She didn't intend to downgrade the importance of her colleague's work.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And the steeper price caused a few credit ratings agencies to put Disney on a downgrade watch. Ben Fritz, WSJ, "Disney’s Deal Playbook: Target a Company That’s Not for Sale," 6 July 2018 In addition to the personnel downgrade, Nelson lost a step in his own right, as age and a torn ACL robbed him of some of his explosiveness. Michael Beller, SI.com, "Fantasy Football 2018 Busts: Will Leonard Fournette, Kareem Hunt Meet Expectations?," 3 July 2018 Moody’s has already put Italy on review for a possible downgrade from Baa2, which is just two notches above junk status. Simon Nixon, WSJ, "Portuguese Lessons for Spain and Italy," 4 June 2018 However, Musk and Tesla have gone through a recent bad spell amid a drop in the value of company's shares, a spat with the National Transportation Safety Board and a debt rating downgrade. Kevin Mccoy, USA TODAY, "Tech billionaire Elon Musk plans hyperloop high-speed acceleration and braking test," 8 Apr. 2018 More important, Moody’s Investors Service, which downgraded Tesla’s credit rating in March, said meeting production targets was necessary to avert further downgrades. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Tesla’s Busy and Worrisome Week," 27 June 2018 Johnson’s comments prompted a wave of downgrades from analysts at Morgan Stanley and several other Wall Street investment houses. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "Frappuccino Sales Are Cooling. Here's How Starbucks Plans to Win Customers Back," 21 June 2018 Micron Technology investors could be forgiven for being shocked by Morgan Stanley’s rating downgrade. Jeran Wittenstein, The Seattle Times, "Micron bull waves caution flag on stock most analysts say to buy," 1 June 2018 On Friday, Moody’s put Italy’s credit rating on review for a possible downgrade citing risks to its fiscal strength from the government plan put forward by Di Maio and Salvini. John Follain, Bloomberg.com, "Italy’s Failure to Form Government Deepens Political Chaos," 28 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Trump was initially invited to a regal state visit last year by May. That invite has been downgraded to a working visit. William Booth And Karla Adam, Washington Post, "‘I think they like me a lot in the U.K.,’ Trump says, as he faces mass protests in Britain," 12 July 2018 Much like awesome once served a greater purpose, the exclamation point has been downgraded from a shout of alarm or intensity to a symbol that indicates politeness and friendliness. Julie Beck, The Atlantic, "Exclamation Point Inflation," 27 June 2018 New Jersey’s credit rating on general-obligation bonds has been downgraded 11 times by three credit-rating firms since 2010. Kate King, WSJ, "New Jersey Budget Deadline Looms With No Deal in Sight," 25 June 2018 Farther south, two journalists were killed Monday evening in North Carolina while covering hazardous weather on the fringes of Subtropical Storm Alberto (which has since been downgraded to a depression). Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things for May 29: North Korea summit, extreme weather, Starbucks," 29 May 2018 According to the museum’s director, Timothy Potts, the kouros has not been downgraded to the status of a forgery or definitively determined to be a fake. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Something's missing from the newly reinstalled antiquities collection at the Getty Villa," 19 Apr. 2018 The security clearance of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, has been downgraded, according to two people informed of the decision. Ledyard King, USA TODAY, "Trump's personal assistant John McEntee fired from White House," 13 Mar. 2018 Between his bonding moment with Miguel and Beth at Kevin’s rehab facility, and the revelation of his insecurities in last week’s Vegas episode, my Burning Hatred has now been downgraded to Moderate Dislike With A Side of Suspicion. Emma Dibdin, Cosmopolitan, "Is Kate Going to Leave Toby at the Altar in the This Is Us Finale?," 7 Mar. 2018 After a protracted intra-White House battle, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner’s temporary security status has been downgraded, Politico reported on Tuesday. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Jared Kushner’s White House Security Clearance Downgraded," 27 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downgrade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of downgrade

Noun

1857, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1930, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for downgrade

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for downgrade

The first known use of downgrade was in 1857

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More Definitions for downgrade

downgrade

noun

Financial Definition of downgrade

What It Is

A downgrade is an announcement of an analyst lowering their opinion on the desirability of a company as an investment. It can apply to either debt or equity.

How It Works

Downgrades can come from a variety of sources: brokerage firms, research firms, ratings agencies, etc.

Downgrades of equities can happen for several reasons, but usually they center on industry, regulatory, technology, or management changes that the analyst feels will hinder the issuer's future performance. These factors create fundamental shifts in the analyst's outlook, making the security appear either fully valued or overvalued.

Debt downgrades generally come from ratings agencies such as Moody's or Standard & Poor's (S&P). A downgrade from one of them is a major signal that an issuer is more likely to default on its debt. If a bond is downgraded to a level below investment grade (aka, "junk"), there is often a serious sell off of those bonds, because most institutional investors are forbidden from owning junk bonds.

Why It Matters

Ratings have a large influence on the demand of a security. Downgrades (or even rumors of downgrades) tell investors that a security is now believed to be riskier, which may have a negative impact on the security's price. In turn, downgrades often lead to less trading activity and lowered liquidity.

Source: Investing Answers

downgrade

noun

English Language Learners Definition of downgrade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an area or surface that goes downward : a downward slope

: an occurrence in which something becomes worse, less valuable, etc.

downgrade

verb

English Language Learners Definition of downgrade (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give (someone or something) a lower rank or grade

: to cause (someone or something) to be thought of as less valuable, important, etc.

downgrade

noun
down·grade | \ˈdau̇n-ˌgrād \

Kids Definition of downgrade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a downward slope (as of a road) I lost my brakes on the downgrade.

downgrade

verb
downgraded; downgrading

Kids Definition of downgrade (Entry 2 of 2)

: to lower in grade, rank, position, or standing The hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm.

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