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 stores are refinished with fresh wallpaper and floors, and then furnished with sparkling appliances, plush armchairs and other upgrades. Brittany Meiling, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Carlsbad gaming startup goes viral in its first week. Will the good times keep coming?," 6 Aug. 2019 The archery range will be closed for two months while these upgrades are being made. Rocky Baier, azcentral, "Usery Mountain Regional Park archery range to close for 2 months for upgrades," 2 Aug. 2019 The millage would create a sinking fund for repairs and construction of school buildings, school security improvements and technology upgrades. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Aug. 6 elections in metro Detroit: Who's running, what to know," 2 Aug. 2019 Swap in green tomatillos for tomato juice to make this eerie upgrade of a classic Bloody Mary. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Swamp Thing," 1 Aug. 2019 This version of Android Auto represents the interface's first major upgrade since its launch in 2014. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Android Auto’s biggest upgrade ever is finally rolling out," 31 July 2019 In 2008, Runkel became a partner at EcoTech, a construction company that performed energy efficient home upgrades. oregonlive.com, "Political ties may yield taxpayer boost for private housing developers in Portland," 30 July 2019 The Louisville Bats renewed their lease at Slugger Field, and the ballpark will be getting some upgrades. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Morning Coffee: Louisville basketball's Jeff Walz is flipping out — in a good way," 30 July 2019 For Odd Breed owner Matt Manthe, the deal means upgrades at Odd Breed (50 NE First St., Pompano Beach), including longer opening hours, more food trucks and access to Barrel of Monk’s distribution network. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "South Florida breweries Barrel of Monks, Odd Breed partner up to make wild beer science," 30 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Road shoulders and guardrails will also be upgraded to improve safety in the area. *** HILLSBORO 8 a.m.: Crash on Northwest West Union Road west of Groveland Road. oregonlive.com, "Portland metro Tuesday traffic: Crews cut power on NW Wren Road for crane work," 20 Aug. 2019 Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock have dramatically upgraded his supporting cast. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "What happened at Raiders’ camp — minus Antonio Brown," 20 Aug. 2019 Amazon face recognition feels your pain Amazon says its facial recognition program, Rekognition, has been upgraded and can now detect basic emotions — including fear — which is generating concerns from privacy advocates, Seattle’s KING-TV reported. SFChronicle.com, "A beer with little taste; Cathay Pacific CEO resigns," 16 Aug. 2019 Following the cat’s positive blood testing of meth this week, one of Spaulding’s animal cruelty charges was upgraded to a felony count. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "New Mexico Man Arrested After He Allegedly Force-Fed His Cat Meth and Beat His Girlfriend," 14 Aug. 2019 The Heat Advisory will be upgraded to an Excessive Heat Warning Tuesday. Dallas News, "NBC 5 Forecast: Hottest Weather Yet," 12 Aug. 2019 Each of the six theaters has upgraded the seating and cut down on the number of seats. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "At the new-look Cinepolis West Hartford, you’ll find luxury seating, in-theater waitstaff and soon, a full bar," 12 Aug. 2019 Then there are upgraded economy seats with extra legroom and perks like free drinks, and a hybrid of coach and business with even more advantages. NBC News, "What you really need to know about those cheap airfares," 10 Aug. 2019 The city upgraded the system to what's referred to as smart 911, which allows people to put information into the 911 system that helps emergency responders when they are called. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "After 911 calls fail to save 16-year-old Kyle Plush, his parents sue Cincinnati to get answers they were promised, but never got," 9 Aug. 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

9 Aug 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).


a haphazard or makeshift solution

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