up·​grade | \ ˈəp-ˌgrād How to pronounce upgrade (audio) \

Definition of upgrade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an upward grade or slope


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

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of upgrade in a Sentence

Noun a slight upgrade in the roadway The hotel offered us a room upgrade. Verb 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 Error 0: Both the 2014 bond and the 2019 bond focus heavily on new security measures, technology upgrades, and expanded transportation routes and services. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "Cy-Fair ISD provides update on $4B in bond projects," 13 Feb. 2020 Though a big believer in Ronald Guzman’s value as a defender, general manager Jon Daniels was candid this winter in seeking an upgrade, or at least a platoon, because of the offensive demands of the position. Dallas News, "Nothing’s guaranteed for the oft-injured Greg Bird in Texas, but the Rangers present a significant opportunity," 11 Feb. 2020 Prior to the upgrade, only Macy’s members on the top tier or platinum level earned a percentage of their purchases back as rewards. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Macy's launches next phase of Star Rewards program with new benefit for all shoppers, contest," 11 Feb. 2020 Along with the performance upgrades, two new appearance options are on board. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "2020 Ford GT Has More Power, Louder Exhaust," 6 Feb. 2020 Then came the failure of NSTX after its upgrade, which aimed to double the strength of its magnetic field. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "After decades of decline, the U.S. national fusion lab seeks a rebirth," 6 Feb. 2020 That could include discounted tickets, complimentary hotel room upgrades, or even a free extra night (often Monday) — which could make an otherwise pricey getaway much more accessible. Laurie Jennings, Good Housekeeping, "36 Tips for How to Travel With Kids That Will Save Your Next Family Vacation," 4 Feb. 2020 Utility spending will also be down roughly $300 million to $150 million following the completion of GCI’s $140 million 5G upgrade, the report states. Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "No big Alaska earthquake in 2019 means less construction spending in 2020," 31 Jan. 2020 Yet, the blade went through several design upgrades, requested by Bowie over the years. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "10 of the Best Survival Knives," 27 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video WATCH Carla Makes an Apple Tart Share Tweet Email More... Irina Groushevaia, Bon Appétit, "How a Queer-Run Sauna Brought Me Back to My Russian Roots," 19 Feb. 2020 Across the country, motor vehicle offices have been flooded with people trying to upgrade to a Real ID. NBC News, "Airports warn of chaos with looming Real ID license deadline," 19 Feb. 2020 To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video WATCH Emily Blunt Takes Over for Anna Wintour and Talks About Becoming Mary Poppins Share Tweet Email More... Kristin Anderson, Vogue, "Forget NYFW—Gypsy Sport’s Rio Uribe Costumes a Politicized Pole Dance at Frieze LA," 18 Feb. 2020 The city is putting forth a $5 million bond to upgrade the city’s public safety radio network and purchase items like cardiac monitors, and also replace public transit buses and improve bus stops. Aubrey Wieber, Anchorage Daily News, "Here are the bond packages Anchorage will vote on in the April election," 18 Feb. 2020 The city is investing $600 million to upgrade the system. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Fort Lauderdale is facing a $1.8 million fine after 206 million gallons of sewage was discharged into the city's waterways," 18 Feb. 2020 Dearing noted in the committee meeting that despite the new federal funding, counties would need another $60-80 million to completely upgrade their outdated voting machines. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky official: Foreign actors, including Russians, North Koreans, target election system," 18 Feb. 2020 Someone may encourage you to take a closer look at ways to upgrade your financial status. oregonlive, "Horoscope for Feb. 17, 2020: Happy birthday Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Scorpio, stay in the loop," 17 Feb. 2020 Some people also like to upgrade their instant ramen with different broths, spices, sauces, herbs, vegetables, and meats. Alejandra Salazar, refinery29.com, "Top Ramen Just Made Your Favorite Food A Whole Lot Cuter (& Lazier)," 8 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for upgrade

Time Traveler

The first known use of upgrade was in 1873

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Statistics for upgrade

Last Updated

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Upgrade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upgrade. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for upgrade


How to pronounce upgrade (audio)

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.


How to pronounce upgrade (audio) How to pronounce upgrade (audio)

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
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for upgrade

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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