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)

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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

The March report will show whether employers have significantly downshifted hiring plans or whether February was just a sputter during a long stretch of job gains. Eric Morath, WSJ, "Economists Expect Hiring Rise, Wage Gains in March Jobs Report," 4 Apr. 2019 Expectations for self-driving vehicle technology are downshifting. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Rerouting for Brexit; Reeling Smartphone Suppliers; Braking Robot Cars," 18 Jan. 2019 The throttle becomes a tad livelier, and the DCT downshifts readily under braking—although not quite as intuitively as the automatic in the CX-3. Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver, "2018 Hyundai Kona," 26 Mar. 2018 First, these will be the last Corvettes with a manual transmission—a trick seven-speeder with a rev-matching function for downshifting. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2019 Corvette ZR1: The Last, and Best, of Its Kind," 28 Nov. 2018 An active sport exhaust comes standard in every model, and even four-cylinder F-types will make a few pops on downshifting if properly motivated. Car and Driver, "2018 Jaguar F-type," 16 Mar. 2018 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

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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Statistics for downshift

Last Updated

30 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for downshift

The first known use of downshift was in 1944

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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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using a distributed computer network

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