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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

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

Conversely, the team can engage the player and agent in different ways, whether a bump in the current year or some kind of larger contract upgrade. Andrew Brandt, SI.com, "Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon Will Likely Get Their Contract Upgrade—With a Caveat," 6 Aug. 2019 But the concept has since become mainstream as large exhibitors have upgraded their theaters to combat long-term declines in attendance. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, "iPic Entertainment, luxury cinema pioneer, files for bankruptcy as rivals move in," 5 Aug. 2019 The city installed the recording system as part of an LED upgrade to its streetlamps. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego Police Department ramps up use of streetlamp video cameras, ACLU raises surveillance concerns," 5 Aug. 2019 Once a box is chosen, Chu will use it as her compass to help upgrade her client’s space in just three days! Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "Celebrity Designer Nikki Chu Takes Homes From Drab to Fab on The New Season of Unboxed," 2 Aug. 2019 Denver also is rebuilding intersections, upgrading lighting and preparing to reduce some roads’ speed limits, Burke said. Andrew Kenney, The Denver Post, "Denver’s plan for bicycles is moving faster, but it could still take 18 years," 2 Aug. 2019 Another option for an extra $100 would be the Ring Video Doorbell 2, which upgrades the video resolution to 1080p and adds a rechargeable battery pack, but reduces the field of view a bit to 160 degrees horizontally and 90 degrees vertically. Paige Szmodis, Popular Mechanics, "The 8 Best Home Security Systems and Video Doorbells," 2 Aug. 2019 The bullpen is possibly vulnerable, but adding Maldonado and Greinke just significantly upgraded their run prevention in this year of the rabbit ball. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "MLB playoff rankings: Eight best World Series bets after the trade deadline," 31 July 2019 Why were computer systems that are central to the DMV’s functions not upgraded as needed, rather than allowed to deteriorate? Dan Walters, SFChronicle.com, "Open Forum: Gov. Gavin Newsom now owns DMV’s woes," 29 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of upgrade


1873, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1901, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about upgrade

Dictionary Entries near upgrade








Statistics for upgrade

Last Updated

9 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for upgrade

The first known use of upgrade was in 1873

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


not constant or steady

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!