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

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

The electronic and mechanical upgrades are plentiful. Al Haas, Philly.com, "Refreshed for 2019, Buick Envision is roomy, comfortable, and quiet," 12 July 2018 Though the upgrades generally have been necessary, City Light now must try to rein in spending, the review panel wrote, highlighting a number of specific issues. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "‘Alarm bell’ over City Light spending as Seattle council considers rate increases," 9 July 2018 After all, exterior upgrades are often one of the most valuable ways to boost your chances of selling your house without breaking your budget, according to this 2017 report. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "8 Things You Should Know Before Buying A Smart Doorbell, Like Nest Hello Or Ring," 6 July 2018 Of course, with a lot of things vehicle-related, these upgrades aren’t cheap. Jakob Schiller, Outside Online, "5 Bucket-List Upgrades to Make a Killer Overland Truck," 2 July 2018 Among the biggest upgrades at Maier Festival Park are the brand-new U.S. Cellular Connection Stage, northern entrance and community plaza. Elena Weissmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Summerfest revelers react to new U.S. Cellular stage, northern gate, Klement's Beer Garden," 27 June 2018 An upgrade to the geothermal system (projected to cost roughly $100,000) is in the works, as is the installation of more solar panels. Harriot Manley, SFChronicle.com, "Yountville’s Bardessono resort still deeply green — just less vocal about it," 20 June 2018 But another significant upgrade is coming even before Assistant: Sonos is adding AirPlay 2 support to its recent products in July, which will enable them to play audio through nearly any app on iOS and Mac. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Highlights from the Vergecast interview with Sonos CEO Patrick Spence," 15 June 2018 While the upgrades to Fountain Square may be new, the criteria for having a veteran’s name included on the wall has not changed, officials say. Pioneer Press, chicagotribune.com, "Fallen veteran's family asks for exception so his name may be included in Evanston's Fountain Square war memorial," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

He was initially charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and misdemeanor assault before his charges were upgraded. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Man seen on video berating woman over Puerto Rico shirt charged with felony hate crimes," 12 July 2018 One was admitted to the hospital in serious condition Tuesday but was upgraded to fair condition Wednesday, Chernick said. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Retirement dream job’: Pilot of plane that crashed near Ketchikan is former Navy and commercial aviator," 11 July 2018 By the way, Sunset Grill, the bar that operates in the Edgewater building's lower level, has the same lake view from an expansive ground-level patio that was upgraded last year, and the new menu of pub food is much improved. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dining patios proliferate around Milwaukee; a look at some new ones for 2018," 10 July 2018 He was arrested and charged initially with assault of a family member on Saturday, but his charge was upgraded to murder soon after that, the Houston Chronicle reported. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "He strangled his wife so she wouldn't go to jail for car debt, Texas cops say," 10 July 2018 In fact, everything in this car has been rebuilt, and the air-conditioner has been upgraded. A.j. Baime, WSJ, "It’s Not Just the Porsche, It’s the Paint Job," 2 July 2018 This has been upgraded to a level 3 report of person mixing chemicals under the hood, some chemicals spilled on the person. Lucas Phillips, BostonGlobe.com, "BU grad student hospitalized after chemical spill," 30 June 2018 The system has been online since 2012 when it was built with lead-acid batteries, and was recently upgraded in December to lithium-ion batteries. Rye Druzin, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas’ largest solar farm will soon get a big battery," 26 June 2018 Fleck continues to upgrade the Minnesota roster with talent . Matt Murschel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Rebuilding Minnesota is No. 74 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 14 June 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

18 Oct 2018

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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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).


one that holds something together

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