down·size | \ˈdau̇n-ˌsīz \

Definition of downsize 

transitive verb

1 : to reduce in size especially : to design or produce in smaller size

2 : to fire (employees) for the purpose of downsizing a business

intransitive verb

: to undergo a reduction in size

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Examples of downsize in a Sentence

They have downsized the car's engine in the new model. The company is planning to downsize next year. The company will be downsized next year.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The number of nuclear weapons worldwide dipped slightly in 2017, with the world’s nine nuclear powers collectively downsizing by 500 weapons. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. and Russia Are Shrinking Their Nuclear Arsenals—But China Isn't," 19 June 2018 Question: With all this talk about reorganizing and downsizing agencies — wouldn’t retirements alone create enough vacancies to avoid layoffs? Eric Yoder, Washington Post, "Q&A for federal workers: Retirement eligibility and patterns," 19 June 2018 The couple, who are downsizing to a smaller home in town, listed the house a few weeks ago for $2.15 million. Candace Taylor, WSJ, "Nautical Homes: Indulging a Passion Without Going Overboard," 16 May 2018 Berger says people who are downsizing are looking for a lifestyle change and want to get away from maintaining a home. Michele Lerner,, "Downsizing baby boomers face a key decision: Is it better to rent or to buy?," 18 Jan. 2018 There has been a move over the past few years to downsize venues that will save franchises money and provide a more intimate experience for the fans. Doug Feinberg,, "Some WNBA Teams Downsizing Arenas To Help Bottom Line," 9 July 2018 Cuonzo Martin’s family will soon settle into a new home, one that used to belong to a Columbia doctor who has decided to downsize after becoming an empty-nester. Aaron Reiss, kansascity, "After one season at Mizzou, Cuonzo Martin hopes this is his 'last college stop' | The Kansas City Star," 9 May 2018 Calumet Township board members could downsize their salaries to reflect the work and effort provided. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Democratic candidates flock to Calumet Township board race," 27 Apr. 2018 Likewise, temporary fencing has been brought in to downsize the ring. Melissa Lyttle, Smithsonian, "The First Family of Rodeo," 13 Dec. 2017

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

1975, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for downsize

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for downsize

The first known use of downsize was in 1975

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More Definitions for downsize



Financial Definition of downsize

What It Is

Downsizing is a strategy used to reduce the size and scope of a business in order to improve its financial performance, usually by laying off employees or closing less-profitable divisions.

How It Works

Downsizing often takes place as part of a larger restructuring program at a company. Although it's usually thought of as a strategy companies use to become smaller, downsizing can also be the result of company mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers.

Its most common form comes in employee layoffs, which reduce payroll costs for the company. Downsizing may also involve shuttering some operations or offering certain employees early retirement.

Why It Matters

Downsizing is typically seen during economic downturns in order to improve efficiency and maintain profitability. However, if too many companies cut payrolls, it can further the downturn due to higher unemployment.

As well, companies may downsize in order to improve their attractiveness to potential acquirers and their cost-cutting moves could result in a buyout offer.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of downsize

: to make (something) smaller

: to make a company smaller and more efficient by reducing the number of workers

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