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 Maybe the Two Percent Economy downshifts to a One Percent Economy. James Pethokoukis, TheWeek, "How the virus could weigh down America's economy for the long haul," 7 May 2020 Switch to Sport mode and shifts are snappier and earlier, even downshifting under braking while approaching a turn. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, "The baby Benz has grown up—the 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA, reviewed," 27 Apr. 2020 There can be a dark side to sharing with strangers The 266,000 job gains last month further eased fears of a downturn, but the report also provided clues that the economy and labor market may be downshifting. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "A booming jobs report isn't an all-clear signal for the economy," 9 Dec. 2019 The Commerce Department reported that consumer spending downshifted and businesses continued to trim their investments in response to trade war uncertainty and a weakening global economy. Damian J. Troise, USA TODAY, "Stocks fall as the Fed's interest rate decision looms; General Electric among big winners," 30 Oct. 2019 The transmission also offers plenty of aid in downshifting to maintain momentum up small inclines in the middle gears. Scott Sturgis,, "2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth makes drivers want to stretch summer," 25 Oct. 2019 Growth in the final three months of 2018 is now pegged at an annualized 1.1%, half the previous estimate and the slowest pace in three years, as consumer spending downshifted significantly. Rich Miller, Fortune, "Trump’s 3% Growth Feat in 2018 Undone by Annual Data Revisions," 26 July 2019 Others say big businesses will eke out modest gains, but all agree that growth has downshifted sharply from a year ago. CBS News, "The corporate profits gravy train is derailing," 11 July 2019 More generally, average monthly job growth has downshifted to about 170,000 this year from 223,000 in 2018, though the latter figure has tentatively been revised down. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Economy added booming 266,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%," 6 Dec. 2019

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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Statistics for downshift

Last Updated

13 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Downshift.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for downshift


How to pronounce downshift (audio)

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with downshift

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