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

And, given how ready the festival appears for a new infusion of energy and some upgrades, the move to Petco Park next year may prove particularly well-timed. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Analysis: KAABOO takes final Del Mar bow: Was the festival rushing too fast to its new home at Petco Park?," 17 Sep. 2019 When regulations demand costly upgrades, some manufacturers simply shut them down. The Economist, "A dire scarcity of drugs is worsening, in part, because they are so cheap," 14 Sep. 2019 However, no stranger to a winter upgrade, his improved rating for the second half of the campaign was 88. SI.com, "FIFA 20: Virgil van Dijk's FUT Card Through the Years," 12 Sep. 2019 And when introducing a big upgrade, the company has often increased prices. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "iPhone 11 Price Suggests Trump Trade War Doesn’t Worry Apple," 11 Sep. 2019 The Browns’ upgrades — some people envision Cleveland (yes, Cleveland) as a Super Bowl contender — provide a ripe subject. Barry Wilner, SFChronicle.com, "Plenty of story lines for NFL’s 100th season," 5 Sep. 2019 Airline elite status is the key to unlocking benefits like complimentary upgrades, better seat selection, free checked bags, priority boarding, and being among the first customers to get help when your travel plans go awry. Eric Rosen, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Know About Airline Elite Status Challenges," 2 Sep. 2019 The forest will soon be getting the modern upgrade — an upgrade millions of years in the making. CBS News, "Sequoia National Park, home of the world's largest tree, gets a technological update," 27 Aug. 2019 Following a recent upgrade, a LOFAR competitor, the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) in the desert of Western Australia, has further refined those limits in results due to be published soon. Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American, "The Quest to Unlock the Secrets of the Baby Universe," 26 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

More Raiders Stories Instead the Raiders kept Carr, publicly supported him and spent heavily in free agency and the draft to upgrade the offense around him. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "With rebuilt supporting cast, can Raiders’ Derek Carr deliver star performance?," 6 Sep. 2019 The electric utility has spent $4 billion so far to upgrade its grid and has a pilot program to put more power lines underground. Marcia Heroux Pounds, sun-sentinel.com, "FPL warns Hurricane Dorian can still cause extensive power problems," 31 Aug. 2019 Moreover, the move will negate the need to spend $128,000 to upgrade equipment and technology if the city were to continue handling its own dispatching, Neibert said. Jerry Fallstrom, orlandosentinel.com, "Eustis touts $248K savings from proposed switch to Lake Sheriff’s Office for police dispatching," 15 Aug. 2019 Ports America Chesapeake has spent tens of millions in the past nine months to upgrade about 80 percent of its container-handling equipment in an effort to reduce those wait times to under an hour, White said. Colin Campbell, Washington Post, "Maryland to seek more money from CSX, others for Howard Street Tunnel," 5 Aug. 2019 The partners plan to spend more than $4 million to upgrade the complex, including work on the interiors and common areas and the addition of a second clubhouse. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Excelsa Properties buys apartment property near Oak Forest," 26 July 2019 Lillian Chung, the local chapter’s vice president for philanthropy and a school psychologist, said the NCL had been considering upgrading the Shalimar kitchen and Wi-Fi. Daily Pilot, "Newport moms and daughters give $30K so kids at Costa Mesa’s Shalimar Learning Center can learn to code," 13 Sep. 2019 With Buster, that's expanded to include upgrading to the latest stable point release. Scott Gilbertson, Ars Technica, "Debian 10: Playing catch-up with the rest of the Linux world (that’s a good thing)," 11 Sep. 2019 The Apple service lets customers upgrade to a new iPhone each year, in return for a monthly payment trading in their old iPhones when the 12 months are up. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Is Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program Worth It?," 10 Sep. 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

18 Oct 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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