downgrade

noun
down·​grade | \ ˈdau̇n-ˌgrād How to pronounce downgrade (audio) \

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
downgraded; downgrading; downgrades

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

The news hasn't gone down too well with supporters who will see the 26-year-old as a significant downgrade on their current talisman Riyad Mahrez. SI.com, "Leicester City Supporters React After the Foxes Are Linked With a Move For Crystal Palace Winger," 17 June 2018 Credit ratings firms say planned restructuring and divestitures should help GE avoid further downgrades, but investors are less sanguine. Matt Wirz, WSJ, "What GE Needs to Do to Avoid Junk Territory," 9 Jan. 2019 Further downgrades to the country’s debt may also be avoided. Janice Kew, Bloomberg.com, "‘It's Like 1994 Again’: South African CEOs Hail Ramaphosa Win," 25 Feb. 2018 After decades of scheduling marijuana in the strictest possible category, a downgrade could be taken as an acknowledgment by the federal government that its old policies have failed. German Lopez, Vox, "Marijuana is legal for medical purposes in 32 states," 14 Nov. 2018 Police can still write tickets for some minor infractions, a downgrade from the old system that often meant criminal charges could be filed. Fortune, "Canada Is Now Just One Small Step From Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Nationwide," 20 June 2018 The no-proration policy also won't apply to service changes such as upgrades or downgrades, moving your account to a new location, or to DirecTV for businesses. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "AT&T makes it more expensive to cancel DirecTV or Internet service," 3 Dec. 2018 Upgrades, downgrades, and switching between many of AT&T’s services are exempt; as well as accounts in California, Illinois, and New York; and U-verse TV, AT&T Phone, and AT&T Internet accounts in Michigan. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "AT&T will no longer offer prorated credits when you cancel certain services," 3 Dec. 2018 Tesla declined to comment toFortune regarding the Moody’s downgrade. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Tesla Shares Fall to Lowest Point in a Year on Model 3 Worries, Crash Probe," 28 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

So customers who want to downgrade their service will save money, but ones who maintain the status quo will pay more. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Why yesterday’s AT&T and Time Warner merger appeal matters — and why it’s a long shot," 13 July 2018 Johnson has said the U.K. may downgrade its participation by not sending politicians or Prince William, who is president of England’s Football Association. Washington Post, "Sanctions, cyberattack among possible UK moves on Russia," 13 Mar. 2018 But the lending agency is downgrading the outlook for Europe and Japan. Paul Wiseman, Fox News, "IMF: World economy likely to grow 3.9 percent this year," 16 July 2018 The storm, which had been downgraded from hurricane status, was expected to continue weakening Thursday, and become a post-tropical cyclone later Thursday. John Hilliard, BostonGlobe.com, "Beaches reopen, but officials warn swimmers of rip current risk along southern Mass. coast," 12 July 2018 The earthquake, which the U.S Geological Survey briefly rated at a magnitude of 8.2 before downgrading it to 7.9, occurred late Monday night, hit 173 miles south-east of Chiniak, Alaska, at a depth of 6 miles. David Meyer, Fortune, "An Enormous Earthquake Off Alaska Has Prompted Widespread Tsunami Warnings," 23 Jan. 2018 Because of the injury, he was booked for felony domestic violence, but the case will likely be downgraded to a misdemeanor because the injury was minor. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, "‘America’s Got Talent’ Standout Michael Ketterer Has Been Arrested for Domestic Violence," 21 Sep. 2018 While initial forecasts had Jasper in Florence’s crosshairs, updated information has downgraded the threat posed to it. Barnini Chakraborty, Fox News, "South Carolina refusing to evacuate inmates as monster storm Florence nears," 12 Sep. 2018 As the storm approaches, rescues and assistance by the Coast Guard and other agencies may be downgraded, the release announced. Greg Larose, NOLA.com, "Subtropical Storm Alberto: Watch 4 p.m. Saturday update," 26 May 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

21 Feb 2019

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)

chiefly US
: 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 How to pronounce downgrade (audio) \

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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