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

Definition of downshift

intransitive verb

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

Other Words from downshift

downshift noun

Examples of downshift in a Sentence

You can downshift to slow the car down.
Recent Examples on the Web Six speeds don't seem like many these days, but the automatic doesn't hesitate to downshift, and its crisp shifts were much preferred to the faux shifts of the competition's CVTs. Joe Lorio, Car and Driver, 22 Sep. 2021 After his run with luxe Huntsville restaurants, Erick is ready to downshift to simpler fare for The Standard. Matt Wake |, al, 22 Sep. 2021 The brain of a chronically lonely person, however, does not downshift back to normal, instead maintaining a continuous state of alert: anxious, stressed out, searching for social threats, unable to let down the guard even to sleep properly. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Aug. 2021 The gearbox is easy to downshift quickly on a mountain pass or while bouncing along a dirt road. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 2 Aug. 2021 Though the book opens with a bloody foot landing in a passenger’s lap, Newman knows when to downshift to let in some compassion, a resource sorely needed in the air and on the ground. Los Angeles Times, 1 July 2021 An outdoor television can help him downshift from work to play mode. Jamie Gold, Forbes, 15 June 2021 On Lap 25 during Race 1 of IndyCar's Detroit Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon, Rosenqvist appeared to have suffered a stuck throttle in his No. 7 Chevy while entering Turn 6 and attempting to downshift. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 13 June 2021 Wilson doesn’t see any sign that the North Texas home market will downshift. Steve Brown, Dallas News, 7 May 2021

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

1944, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for downshift

Time Traveler

The first known use of downshift was in 1944

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Cite this Entry

“Downshift.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of downshift

: to put the engine of a vehicle into a lower gear
: to begin to work or happen at a level that is slower, easier, or more relaxed

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for downshift


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