down·​shift | \-ˌshift \

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)

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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

To get to the Western Conference finals, the Blazers will likely have to contend with the Warriors, who downshift to smaller lineups with Draymond Green and Kevin Durant at will. Ben Golliver,, "The All-Bullseye Team: Five All-Stars Facing Serious Playoff Pressure," 4 Apr. 2018 Blatting around in an F-type, gratuitously downshifting just to trigger the resultant litany of pops and cracks from the exhaust, is about as subtle as leaping around your front lawn in your birthday suit and firing a six-shooter at the heavens. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "2018 Jaguar F-type 400 Sport AWD Coupe," 10 Feb. 2018 Mapping capability allows the vehicle to downshift when approaching an interaction to enable braking and to ensure smooth traveling around corners. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "BMW reveals all-new 8-Series Coupe: 523 horsepower and 155 mph," 15 June 2018 Oh, and the chef whose mind never seems to downshift is considering a new dessert for the barbecue restaurant. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "A Killen’s Tex-Mex restaurant in Houston?," 12 June 2018 The tic is particularly noticeable on inclines, where the Ioniq often loses speed before downshifting. Car and Driver, "2018 Hyundai Ioniq," 12 Mar. 2018 Look at San Antonio, which downshifted to commonplace when Leonard missed nearly all the season with an injury. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde: Can Pat Riley find a summer miracle for a roster that needs one? | Commentary," 18 June 2018 And when the Rockets finally caught on to his rhythm, Burks found a new one—downshifting his manic drives to make calculated reads. Rob Mahoney,, "Alec Burks—in 22 Minutes of Playing Time—Turned the Rockets-Jazz Series on Its Head," 3 May 2018 Last year’s high-end chip, the Ryzen 7 1800X, for example ran at a clock speed of 4 GHz using one core, but then automatically downshifted to 3.7 GHz if apps started using more cores. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Inside AMD's Ryzen Revamp: Second Generation Chip Is Faster and Cheaper," 19 Apr. 2018

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

1955, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for downshift

Last Updated

29 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for downshift

The first known use of downshift was in 1955

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More Definitions for downshift



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

More from Merriam-Webster on downshift

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with downshift

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for downshift

Comments on downshift

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living or existing for a long time

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