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

Firmware upgrades are automatically retrieved over a Tor hidden service. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "InvizBox 2 redefines what “privacy” routers can do," 3 Sep. 2019 The beach water-quality testing program has seen some significant upgrades this summer, according to the county’s Department of Environmental Health. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego County beefs up water-quality testing at beaches with focus on South Bay shorelines," 1 Sep. 2019 The Broncos, Colts, Packers, and Lions all could use upgrades on the depth chart, and Hoyer may not be out of work for long. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, "Patriots had no need for Brian Hoyer, and other thoughts on the roster cuts," 31 Aug. 2019 These technology upgrades aim to change drivers’ behavior, particularly at points in the road where cars must interact with pedestrians. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "SF redesigns busy intersections as 2019 traffic fatalities outpace last year," 29 Aug. 2019 The renovation project will start Sept. 9 and run through mid-November, with upgrades that include upgraded decor, increased food and cocktail services and premium pod seating. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Star Cinema Grill expands to Spring with new location at CityPlace development," 28 Aug. 2019 Expect upgrades, too, in premium economy, says aviation consultant Mike Boyd. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "Airlines Are Finally Adding Perks Back to Economy Class," 28 Aug. 2019 Best values QB Derek Carr, Raiders: Wholesale upgrades at wide receiver, running back, offensive line ... drafted as QB23 is five spots worse than his 2018 finish. Cory Bonini, USA TODAY, "Fantasy football: Late-round players to grab, avoid in your draft," 28 Aug. 2019 Related Articles There also will be electrical fixture upgrades in the restroom and shower buildings and site restoration around the modern campground’s playground. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, "Trail upgrade, RV campground update on deck at Lake Elmo Regional Park Reserve," 26 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Another option is to upgrade to the 4G modems while adopting Adams’ proposal to have the modems communicate with computers separated from the core election system, Erickson said. Edward Fitzpatrick, BostonGlobe.com, "Security expert offers solution to prevent hacking of election computers in Rhode Island next year," 23 Aug. 2019 Our brand is encouraging consumers to upgrade to wider choices and better quality products. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "A young, US-educated entrepreneur is giving Indian men’s underwear a makeover," 31 July 2019 Like the 2016 Cubs, who upgraded from Hector Rondon to Chapman at a high cost (Gleyber Torres), the 2019 Dodgers are too good to enter October with a glaring weakness. Tom Verducci, SI.com, "Which Teams Are Facing the Most Trade Deadline Pressure? Start With the Yankees," 29 July 2019 Xi's dream was to upgrade huge swathes of Africa to modern, digital satellite TV networks, that could broadcast a constellation of channels over long distances — so long, in fact, that a TV channel from Beijing could be beamed to African homes. CNN, "How China is slowly expanding its power in Africa, one TV set at a time," 23 July 2019 In May, that charge was dismissed and upgraded to first-degree murder. Fox News, "Murder suspect mistakenly released from jail arrested in Georgia: police," 11 July 2019 As Potential Tropical Cyclone Two continues to pound New Orleans, Louisiana with rain and flooding, residents brace for the storm to be upgraded to Tropical Storm Barry, and to possibly make landfall as Hurricane Barry this weekend. Kirsten West Savali, Essence, "New Orleans Floods, Braces For Potential Tropical Storm To Make Landfall As Hurricane Barry," 10 July 2019 Approval was also given for a $3 million upgrade to Rhoads Stadium (softball) and the Mal Moore Athletics Facility that houses the football program and administrative offices. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al.com, "Bryant-Denny Stadium capacity to drop only slightly after renovation," 6 June 2019 And the situation is roughly equivalent with the competition: Ford charges $4000 to upgrade to diesel from the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 and $3000 to move up from the popular 5.0-liter V-8. Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver, "How Does the Chevrolet Silverado's New Duramax Turbo-Diesel Engine Compare against Ford and Ram?," 3 June 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

6 Sep 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).


recurring in steady succession

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