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

The upgrade is only available in English so far, and is also available for Android users. Leah Asmelash And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "Google Assistant launches on Waze so you can yell at your car about traffic," 11 June 2019 The upgrade came after a nearly 30-year reign held by the previous design. Tyra Mcclung, courant.com, "West Hartford has a new town seal and logo," 10 June 2019 The upgrades will improve safety and decrease maintenance needs, department officials said. Jennifer Whidden, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After $100,000 and a year of repairs, Waukesha County's School Section Lake is open again," 7 June 2019 The upgrades are part of a nationwide project to improve tracks in places like New York and Chicago. Mckenna Oxenden, baltimoresun.com, "Amtrak upgrades underway between Baltimore and Washington D.C.," 3 June 2019 Just shop the picks from Walmart's MoDRN home collection below to find the best dining room upgrades based on your décor preferences. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, "12 Items That'll Make You Want to Eat in Your Dining Room Again," 21 May 2019 For $130 more, the Redux 2 upgrades you from mechanical to hydraulic disc brakes and a 9-speed drivetrain. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Road Bikes for Every Cyclist," 8 May 2019 The upgrades were done with 600 kW turbine replacement equipment. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Offshore, Act Two: New owner repowers 20-year-old wind farm off Swedish coast," 30 Dec. 2018 The base price of the Summit teardrop is $21,500, and additional upgrades include a power or solar package, cargo racks, water tank, and custom exterior colors. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Teardrop trailer features bunkbeds to sleep a family of 4," 23 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Among those costs: $27.9 million to replace and upgrade the mechanical and electrical systems. Robert Higgs, cleveland.com, "Cuyahoga County to borrow up to $40.5M for arena, ball field upgrades and repairs, refinance another $40M in bonds," 11 June 2019 This may be a good time to learn a new skill or to study a subject that upgrades your resume. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for June 11, 2019: Taurus, be ready for sudden change of plan; Aquarius, time for work, not play," 11 June 2019 McDonald was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing and Filenko said more charges could be added or upgraded after the investigation is finished. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "Police say man broke into Round Lake Park home with golf club and chased resident," 10 June 2019 Boeing has yet to complete a certification test flight and formally submit its software upgrade and training changes to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for approval. NBC News, "American Airlines extends Boeing 737 MAX cancellations through Sept. 3," 9 June 2019 Leon liked that Cronin upgraded his defense and challenged his strategy. Ben Bolch, latimes.com, "Mick Cronin’s determination fueled his coaching journey from Cincinnati to UCLA," 8 June 2019 In the suburbs, the Fox Valley Park District would receive $150,000 to build a dog park on the northeast side of Aurora and upgrade existing dog parks at the Stuart Sports Complex in Montgomery and at Lincoln Park in Aurora. Ray Long, chicagotribune.com, "Inside Illinois lawmakers’ pork-barrel frenzy: Pickleball courts, dog parks and clout," 7 June 2019 Why hasn’t cutting the corporate tax rate to just twenty per cent prompted more companies to build new facilities and upgrade their information technology? John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Top Economist Makes a Timely Exit," 4 June 2019 Crews are upgrading each intersection — most notably at Madison Street, Sunset Drive, Highway 59 and Highway X, all of which will have new traffic signals — along the bypass way. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The $50 million West Waukesha Bypass project will (finally) be complete this fall, DOT says," 4 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

14 Jun 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

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