down·​scale | \ ˈdau̇n-ˌskāl How to pronounce downscale (audio) \
downscaled; downscaling

Definition of downscale

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cut back in size or scope the recession forced us to downscale vacation plans



Definition of downscale (Entry 2 of 2)

: lower in class, income, or quality

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Examples of downscale in a Sentence

Verb The festival will have to be downscaled this year. the poor economy forced the plant to downscale production Adjective an apartment in a downscale neighborhood The company aims to reach a more downscale market with its new stores.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While games would usually start at crisp HD resolutions, the image would sometime downscale very noticeably in the middle of play, resulting in grainy textures and washed out colors. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Project Xcloud preview serves as a passable, portable Xbox One," 18 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Across the country, brides-to-be have had to cancel, postpone or downscale wedding celebrations out of coronavirus safety precautions and stay-at-home orders. NBC News, "After coronavirus changed their wedding plans, these brides-to-be found new audiences to help them celebrate," 17 May 2020 As the city hunkered down in the coronavirus pandemic, people stripped bare shelves in trendier grocers including Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, while downscale supermarkets such as Key Foods and Gristedes remained well supplied. Polly Mosendz,, "Fleeing to Hamptons, Buying Beans: NYC Virus Fears Trace Wealth Gap," 5 May 2020 Garland grasped a month-long stint at London’s Talk of the Town nightclub (an early, downscale version of today’s lucrative Las Vegas residencies) as a lifeline. Armond White, National Review, "Renée Zellweger’s Bio-Pic Judy Is Compassionate and Honest," 27 Sep. 2019 It’s hard to consider a restaurant an upstart nine years into its tenure, but crossover success remains elusive for Hue Gourmet, which routinely is passed over by those who find the food too unfamiliar or the surroundings too downscale. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "Go to Hue Gourmet for Vietnamese cuisine you can't find anywhere else in metro Phoenix," 10 July 2019 And so that was about shifting Democrats from basically going after downscale manufacturing workers to working women who were leaving their kids, and for whom really there’d been almost no policy or politics up until that point. Elizabeth Crane, Recode, "Full transcript: ‘Microtrends’ author and political strategist Mark Penn on Recode Decode," 18 May 2018 These promises played a crucial role in helping attract downscale Democrats in the Midwest who had voted for Obama but now saw Trump as the economic populist candidate. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "America Hates the Republicans, and They Don’t Know Why," 17 Dec. 2017 On other issues, Trump has been able to hide his betrayals of the party’s downscale wing in hollow rhetoric. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "The Opioid Crisis Is a Political Emergency for American Conservatism," 26 Oct. 2017 Williamson has earned praise for attacking the conservative fetishization of downscale white culture, but his underlying argument is not original. Sarah Jones, New Republic, "Why Conservatives Blame Poverty on the Poor," 25 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downscale.' 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 downscale


1945, in the meaning defined above


1930, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for downscale

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The first known use of downscale was in 1930

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Cite this Entry

“Downscale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for downscale


How to pronounce downscale (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of downscale

 (Entry 1 of 2)

US : to make (something) smaller



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

US : relating or appealing to people who do not have much money also : of low quality

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