down·​size | \ ˈdau̇n-ˌsīz How to pronounce downsize (audio) \
downsized; downsizing; downsizes

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 Along with people downsizing out of older homes, early buyers of those include younger families that like the pricing for a first-home purchase and the way a ranch lays out. Mark Samuelson, The Denver Post, "The future of Green Valley Ranch: Oakwood opens a vast expansion of its master plan with new series at pre-sale prices," 25 Oct. 2019 The move to downsize its footprint is driving the company’s growth — the company surpassed its earnings estimates this summer and announced its 100th small format store., "Massachusetts met goal of controlling health spending last year, report finds," 14 Oct. 2019 As a result, many critics, including Schindler, suspect the current plan is just a first phase, downsized to pass regulatory muster while opening the door to a much bigger future mine—with much greater environmental impacts. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "How a salmon scientist got hooked into a battle over the world’s largest gold mine," 26 Sep. 2019 The majority of closings are happening in clothing and footwear, mainly due to bankruptcies and companies downsizing their store footprints. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "As apparel retail tanks, Old Navy announces plans for 800 new stores," 13 Sep. 2019 Daniel Huang and his wife, Cathy, were looking to downsize from their three-bedroom house in the East Bay. Louis Hansen, The Mercury News, "Endangered Bay Area species: the new home," 1 Sep. 2019 As Quartz reported when the trial began in June, the fatal incidents examined in the court case occurred around 2008 and 2009, when the multinational was downsizing as part of a major restructuring. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "Seven French executives have been sentenced to prison over employee suicides," 20 Dec. 2019 What, When: The Steller Group Inc., agents specialize in downsizing moves: listing, selling, improving to increase salability, handling discards, low-maintenance living options, purchase and rental. Mark Samuelson, The Denver Post, "Picture perfect: Agents at Steller’s Senior Solutions find that some seniors move because they want the perfect house," 20 Dec. 2019 According to court documents, professors who haven’t been able to meet the requirements of outside funding are seeing their hours cut, their pay reduced, and their laboratories closed or downsized., "That’s a breach of their contract and chips away at the idea of tenure, which provides professors academic freedom and guarantees them economic security, said Kevin Peters, an attorney representing the faculty members.," 13 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for downsize

Time Traveler

The first known use of downsize was in 1975

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Statistics for downsize

Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Downsize.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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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


How to pronounce downsize (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on downsize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for downsize

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with downsize

Spanish Central: Translation of downsize

Nglish: Translation of downsize for Spanish Speakers

Comments on downsize

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not to be intimidated or subdued

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