up·​grade | \ ˈəp-ˌgrād How to pronounce upgrade (audio) \

Definition of upgrade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an upward grade or slope
2 : increase, rise


up·​grade | \ ˈəp-ˌgrād How to pronounce upgrade (audio) , ˌəp-ˈgrād How to pronounce upgrade (audio) \
upgraded; upgrading; upgrades

Definition of upgrade (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to raise or improve the grade of: such as
a : to improve (livestock) by use of purebred sires
b : to advance to a job requiring a higher level of skill especially as part of a training program
c : to raise the quality of
d : to raise the classification and usually the price of without improving the quality
e : to extend the usefulness of (something, such as a device)
f : to assign a less serious status to upgraded the patient's condition to good

intransitive verb

: to replace something (such as software or an electronic device) with a more useful version or alternative Upgrading to a new operating system can make people anxious, even under the best of circumstances.Macworld

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Other Words from upgrade


upgradability or upgradeability \ ˌəp-​ˌgrā-​də-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce upgradeability (audio) \ noun
upgradable or upgradeable \ ˌəp-​ˈgrā-​də-​bəl How to pronounce upgradeable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for upgrade

Synonyms: Noun

acclivity, ascent, hill, rise, uphill, uprise

Synonyms: Verb

advance, elevate, promote, raise

Antonyms: Noun

declension, decline, declivity, descent, dip, downgrade, downhill, drop-off, fall, hang, hanging

Antonyms: Verb

abase, degrade, demote, downgrade, lower, reduce

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Examples of upgrade in a Sentence


a slight upgrade in the roadway The hotel offered us a room upgrade.


This course will help you to upgrade your computer skills. They've upgraded the quality of their service. The city is upgrading the sewage treatment plant. The office is upgrading the telephone system. They upgraded the hotel to attract more business patrons. We were able to upgrade to first class. We had reserved a double room, but the hotel upgraded us to a suite.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Storage upgrades for the MacBook Air, iMac, and Mac mini have also seen price reductions. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Apple cuts prices of Mac SSD upgrades across lineup," 9 July 2019 Barrington School District 220 officials plan to have two major safety upgrades completed by the start of the upcoming school year, according to a recent newsletter from the district. Marissa Plescia, chicagotribune.com, "Installing secure vestibule at high school, district-wide radio system among safety upgrades at Barrington SD220," 8 July 2019 One of the greatest strains on the district’s budget is debt from projects, including the construction of two schools and upgrades made to a pair of other schools in recent years. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Things are looking brighter:' San Ysidro School District made strides under new leader," 8 July 2019 Last November, Uber launched Uber Rewards, using perks like vehicle upgrades to woo and keep fickle customers. David Zipper, WIRED, "Public Transit Agencies Think Rewards Programs Can Bring Back Riders," 7 July 2019 Apex also makes money through in-game purchases such as cosmetic upgrades. Shannon Liao, CNN, "Facing off with Fortnite, Apex is turning to esports," 4 July 2019 Evers and Republicans agreed on providing about $1 billion to the UW System for building upgrades and new construction on campuses. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Tony Evers uses his vast veto power to raise school spending another $65 million, wipe out Tesla provision," 3 July 2019 Extensive upgrades began this month on décor and to make the room more accessible for meeting attendees. Paulina Pineda, azcentral, "Tempe City Hall kicks off renovations with $2.4M in improvements to council chambers," 3 July 2019 Despite first taking to the sky over forty years ago, updates and upgrades have made the Lancer a technological wonder. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "Why the B-1 Bomber Is Such a Badass Plane," 2 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But state estimates made several years ago were that upgrading the regional plant and recycling facilities would cost more than $300 million. Gregory B. Hladky, courant.com, "Initial agreement on redeveloping Hartford trash plant reached after years of deadlock," 10 July 2019 It could be upgraded to a tropical depression or even Tropical Storm Barry. Leigh Morgan, al.com, "NWS in Mobile shares thoughts on could-be Barry and why you can’t ‘anchor’ with this one," 9 July 2019 The 20-inch Urano aluminum wheels were upgraded on the tester to black 21-inchers with black calipers, with Pirelli P Zero tires — 245/35 front, 285/30 rear. Mark Maynard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2019 Maserati Ghibli S Q4: from savior to the sidelines," 7 July 2019 The 34-acre Heritage Park will be upgraded with an amphitheater, a boardwalk, a water feature, walking trails and other improvements. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Sachse set for $250 million mixed-use development," 2 July 2019 Bart Kaufman Field, Indiana’s baseball stadium, opened in 2013 to a cost of nearly $20 million, and has been upgraded and added to many times since. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: IU using Big Ten Network millions for more than just athletics — and that's OK," 19 June 2019 All guests who purchase regular park admission will be automatically upgraded to a free Summer Pass with unlimited visits, valid through Sept. 30. Jennifer Boehm, sun-sentinel.com, "Our guide to summer: Savings and fun events for kids," 18 June 2019 He was airlifted from a clinic in his native Dominican Republic to Massachusetts General Hospital, where his condition was upgraded to good on Tuesday, his wife, Tiffany Ortiz, said in a statement. Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News, "Fugitive suspected of paying for David Ortiz shooting identified, 10th suspect arrested," 18 June 2019 Argentina's power grid is generally known for being in a state of disrepair, with substations and cables that were insufficiently upgraded as power rates remained largely frozen for years. Anchorage Daily News, "Massive blackout hits tens of millions in South America," 17 June 2019

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


1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1901, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for upgrade

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for upgrade

The first known use of upgrade was in 1873

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More Definitions for upgrade



English Language Learners Definition of upgrade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an area or surface that goes upward : an upward slope
: an occurrence in which one thing is replaced by something better, newer, more valuable, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of upgrade (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (something) better by including the most recent information or improvements
: to choose to have or use something more modern, useful, etc.
: to get something (such as a seat on an airplane or a room in a hotel) that is better than what you had originally


up·​grade | \ ˈəp-ˌgrād How to pronounce upgrade (audio) , əp-ˈgrād\
upgraded; upgrading

Kids Definition of upgrade

1 : to raise to a higher grade or position The restaurant was upgraded from three to four stars.
2 : to improve or replace old software or an old device


transitive verb
up·​grade | \ ˈəp-ˌgrād, ˌəp-ˈ How to pronounce upgrade (audio) \
upgraded; upgrading

Medical Definition of upgrade

1 : to assign a less serious status to upgraded the patient's condition from fair to good
2 : to reclassify (as a cancer, concussion, or bone fracture) to a more serious grade when the grades are numbered from least to most serious

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More from Merriam-Webster on upgrade

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with upgrade

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for upgrade

Spanish Central: Translation of upgrade

Nglish: Translation of upgrade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of upgrade for Arabic Speakers

Comments on upgrade

What made you want to look up upgrade? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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