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 The Palisades Plaza, though small in scale, is still meant as a meaningful upgrade to the overall Balboa Park experience, and signals the kind of projects the city will pursue under Gloria’s leadership. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Central Balboa Park parking lot turned into pedestrian plaza," 2 Dec. 2020 The Bonhomme Richard was nearing the end of a two-year upgrade estimated to cost $250 million when the fire started. Fox News, "Navy will decommission warship damaged in suspected arson," 1 Dec. 2020 In service in ever-improving versions since 1978, the 928 received a significant performance upgrade this year (it was introduced in spring as a 1993 model). Arthur St. Antoine, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1992 German Sports Coupe Comparo," 27 Nov. 2020 Who doesn’t need a knife upgrade for their kitchen? Cnn Underscored Staff, CNN Underscored, "All the best Black Friday deals you can shop at Amazon," 27 Nov. 2020 Still, for those who've never owned an OLED TV before, the BX should represent a substantial upgrade, with excellent contrast, a wide color gamut, and a 120Hz refresh rate with VRR support. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The best TV deals of Black Friday 2020," 27 Nov. 2020 The Show Bunz burger ($9.95 plus $2.95 for Akaushi beef upgrade) was a white-tablecloth burger served on a stainless steel tray, with a cosmopolitan interplay of lush blue cheese, spicy arugula and sweet pears with caramelized onions. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "3 new restaurants in and near downtown San Antonio invigorate dining scene: Best Quality Daughter, Bunz Handcrafted Burgers and Curry Boys BBQ," 25 Nov. 2020 From a new accessory to wear to your next Q4 planning meeting to a simple ponytail upgrade that will impress everyone in your Trader Joe's line, find a five-part winter hairstyling guide, ahead. Megan Decker, refinery29.com, "5 Hairstyle Trends On Track To Blow Up This Winter," 24 Nov. 2020 His first recruiting classes would bring a noticeable upgrade in talent and his teams would start to look bigger and stronger, more like Jim Calhoun’s Huskies. Dom Amore, courant.com, "Dan Hurley has delivered UConn men back to relevance in less than 1,000 days; only the pandemic can slow the Huskies’ rise," 18 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For the recipient who has taken their nesting seriously, go for a practical gift that will simplify and upgrade the home, like Philips smart light bulbs that connect with your Google home, complete with mood boosting color hues. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "25 Practical Gifts Your Friends and Family Really Want (But Won’t Think to Ask For)," 3 Dec. 2020 In order to accommodate this massive influx, cities will have to expand and upgrade existing infrastructure. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, "Hyperloop wants to connect people to opportunity, but city leaders are asking who benefits the most," 2 Dec. 2020 Aside from Doncic as the focal point of the roster, coach Rick Carlisle emphasized his intent to upgrade defensively through the Mavericks’ new draftees, trade acquisitions and free agents. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "What to know from Mavs’ first training camp interviews: Luka Doncic’s pandemic hair, upgraded toughness and more," 1 Dec. 2020 With Cyber Monday sales abound, now is a great time to upgrade your camera kit. Scott Gilbertson, Wired, "The 7 Best Cyber Monday Deals on Camera Gear and Accessories," 29 Nov. 2020 With workers needing to dig up Lawyers Mall and part of nearby Bladen Street, the state decided to fix and upgrade all the utilities there — steam, electrical, water, gas. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "Lawyers Mall, the state capital’s First Amendment gathering space, to reopen after two years of repairs," 27 Nov. 2020 Yes, with a long, unforgiving winter ahead, there’s no better time to upgrade your bedding essentials. Malia Griggs, SELF, "The 19 Best Black Friday Bedding and Mattress Deals Going on Now," 27 Nov. 2020 The new, combined dedication would generate at least $10.5 million a year — more than $210 million over the 20-year life of the millage — to maintain and upgrade infrastructure projects in all corners of the city. NOLA.com, "Commentary: Once more with feeling, Go Vote," 26 Nov. 2020 Comcast charges a $30 monthly fee to upgrade from the 1.2TB plan to unlimited data, or $25 a month for customers who purchase xFi Complete, which includes unlimited data and rental of the Comcast gateway modem/router. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Comcast raising TV and Internet prices, including a big hike to hidden fees," 25 Nov. 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

4 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Upgrade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upgrade. Accessed 5 Dec. 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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