down·​shift ˈdau̇n-ˌshift How to pronounce downshift (audio)
downshifted; downshifting; downshifts

intransitive verb

: to shift an automotive vehicle into a lower gear
: to move or shift to a lower level (as of speed, activity, or intensity)
downshift noun

Example Sentences

You can downshift to slow the car down.
Recent Examples on the Web The shortfall projections indicate that the abundance of Newsom’s first term is over, and the need to downshift in his second term could have implications for Democrats in the state Legislature and his own political legacy. Taryn Luna, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2023 Hurricane Sally became the latest storm to kick agencies across metro New Orleans into high gear only to change course and take aim somewhere else, leaving local governments Tuesday to ramp up services and residents to downshift into what passes for normal these days. Chad Calder | Staff Writer,, 15 Sep. 2020 The Aggie burner has elite acceleration but also the ability to downshift and change directions, often leaving defenders flat-footed and grasping at air. Jim Mcbride,, 18 Apr. 2023 Then your career seemed to downshift. New York Times, 25 Jan. 2022 The data were widely seen as giving Fed officials room to further downshift the pace of rate hikes at the February meeting. Elena Popina, Fortune, 15 Jan. 2023 One in three women are looking to downshift their careers or leave the workforce entirely, joining the millions of women who have already exited these past few years. WIRED, 26 Jan. 2023 The data, when paired with prior months’ lower-than-expected readings, point to more consistent signs that inflation is easing and may pave the way for the Fed to downshift to a quarter-point hike at their next meeting ending Feb. 1. Fortune, 12 Jan. 2023 Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated last week that the central bank was prepared to downshift to a smaller 0.5-point increase at its meeting on Dec. 13-14. Harriet Torry, WSJ, 6 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'downshift.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1944, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of downshift was in 1944

Dictionary Entries Near downshift

Cite this Entry

“Downshift.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on downshift

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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