up·​grade | \ ˈəp-ˌgrād \

Definition of upgrade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


up·​grade | \ ˈəp-ˌgrād , ˌəp-ˈgrād \
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 \ noun
upgradable or upgradeable \ ˌəp-​ˈgrā-​də-​bəl \ 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

In fact, the company’s major software updates — iOS 12, macOS Mojave, and watchOS 5 — were some of most low-key updates from Apple in some time, instead taking the time to lay the groundwork for more substantial upgrades in the future. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Apple," 27 Dec. 2018 The city also hides roughly 9,420,768 collectibles (give or take), which can be cashed in for more upgrades. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Sunset Overdrive review: Ride the rails to kaboom-town (finally on PCs, too)," 17 Nov. 2018 That would be on top of the capital referendum, which IPS has reduced to $52 million for building and and safety upgrades. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Chamber calls for nearly $500M in IPS cuts in exchange for support of $100M tax hike," 11 July 2018 Nampa's financial stability ranking didn't take into account a $165 million loan voters approved in May to pay for upgrades to the city's sewer system, Polk said. Sven Berg, idahostatesman, "Congratulations, Nampa and Boise. You're among the 'best-run cities' in America.," 9 July 2018 This is a developing story, please check back later for upgrades. Ryan Gillespie, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orlando police plan to extend test of Amazon facial-recognition software," 9 July 2018 The transportation department’s latest accessible pedestrian signal status report lists 100 intersections targeted for future upgrades. Aaron Robertson, New York Times, "Blind Pedestrians Sue the City to Improve Crosswalk Safety," 27 June 2018 Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president of cargo helicopters and manager of the Chinook program, told plant staff from the dias, next to the stripped body of a Chinook slated for upgrade. Joseph N. Distefano, Philly.com, "Boeing upgrades Chinooks at Delco plant in 100-year program," 27 June 2018 So far, Wisconsin has awarded nearly $6 million to 53 school districts and individual schools for security upgrades and funding is still available. Ivan Moreno, The Christian Science Monitor, "Wisconsin schools to roll out gunshot detection sensors," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Look for the upgraded Viveport Infinity on April 5. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "HTC reveals two new VR headsets, the untethered Vive Cosmos and gaze-tracking Vive Pro Eye," 7 Jan. 2019 Dallas also upgraded its roster recently after agreeing to a one-year, $24.1 million deal with center and former Los Angeles Clippers star DeAndre Jordan. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "It's official: Mavericks sign top pick Luka Doncic," 9 July 2018 Kroger will purchase new equipment and upgrade technology at its 674,000-square-foot facility on Mount Zion Road in Florence, according to a press release from the governor's office. Melissa Reinert, Cincinnati.com, "Kroger invests more money, staff into NKY distribution center," 9 July 2018 How will all of the above fare against the talent upgrade in Vegas? Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "What to watch for as Spurs summer leaguers hit Las Vegas," 6 July 2018 Since testing began in 2017, the Robutt has been upgraded. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Ford's Sweaty Robutt is The Perfect Rear End Test," 11 Jan. 2019 Can be upgraded to 200 hours with $15 add-on (also unlocks fast forward). Chris Welch, The Verge, "The Verge Cord Cutter’s Guide: hardware, software, and services," 20 Dec. 2018 As the only actress to appear in all eight seasons of American Horror Story (alongside Evan Peters as the only actor), Paulson has upgraded her role in Ryan Murphy’s terrifying FX saga and taken her rightful spot in the director’s seat, too. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Sarah Paulson Just Made Her 'American Horror Story' Directing Debut," 31 Aug. 2018 Both have upgraded with better projection, and sound that comes in on an FM channel. Peter Hartlaub, SFChronicle.com, "SF almost had a Sutro Drive-In in 1950, and more local outdoor movie history," 13 July 2018

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

8 Feb 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 , 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 \
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

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irregularly rounded

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