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 It's expected to include a significant upgrade to prospects for near-term growth, per Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Take it from the Fed: Low interest rates aren't going anywhere," 16 Sep. 2020 The college district has struggled through several controversies, including a decision to end junior college football and a troubled upgrade to the payroll system that resulted in faculty being overpaid or underpaid, some by thousands of dollars. Anne Ryman, The Arizona Republic, "Maricopa Community Colleges board member who was asked to resign says board broke Arizona Open Meeting Law," 15 Sep. 2020 The new headset also sports an upgrade to 6GB of RAM (up from 4GB on the original) and will come in configurations with up to 256GB of storage. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Facebook leak reveals Oculus Quest 2 as a 4K standalone VR headset," 14 Sep. 2020 The renter continues paying roughly the same bill amount each month, but the savings go toward paying off the home’s upgrade, Drehobl said. Diego Mendoza-moyers, ExpressNews.com, "Report: 22 percent of S.A. households struggle to pay the power bill," 11 Sep. 2020 And this is where the M4s excel as an upgrade to the M3s. Sebastian Modak, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Noise-Cancelling Headphones Just Got Even Better," 11 Sep. 2020 The decision outlined Thursday affects iOS 14, which is expected to be released as a free software upgrade to roughly a billion iPhone users later this month. Michael Liedtke, Star Tribune, "Apple delays debut of anti-tracking tool in iPhone software," 3 Sep. 2020 Aside from adding SpO2 capability, indications are that Apple is planning a more subdued upgrade to its watch lineup this fall. Mike Feibus, USA TODAY, "Fitbit signals it is time to take on Apple and Samsung with new smartwatches," 25 Aug. 2020 That triggered a shift in the forecast track, putting Caribbean islands more at risk and an upgrade to tropical storm status. Seth Borenstein, Anchorage Daily News, "2 tropical storms pose a potential double threat to the Gulf Coast," 22 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Some readers are reluctant to upgrade or replace vulnerable Windows 7 PCs, even though Microsoft no longer provides security updates for them. Steve Alexander, Star Tribune, "Tech tricks to keep using Windows 7 are risky," 20 Sep. 2020 The two owned their Heights East properties well before the district was considered historic, and was subsequently not allowed to alter, upgrade or sell their properties without compliance with specific ordinance rules. Ryan Nickerson, Houston Chronicle, "Heights homeowners take fight over preservation ordinance to state Supreme Court," 12 Sep. 2020 That’s a small percentage of the country’s more than 90,000 dams, but dam owners are increasingly choosing removal as an alternative to upgrade and maintenance, especially for dams that have outlived their usefulness. Richard Mertens, The Christian Science Monitor, "One solution to America’s dam-safety problem: Remove them," 8 Sep. 2020 Retailers rushed to upgrade their websites and warehouses and add more pickup and delivery slots as homebound customers ordered groceries and household goods online in record volumes. Madison Iszler, ExpressNews.com, "Clues abound in pair of mystery projects. Amazon, we’re looking at you," 3 Sep. 2020 That policy says abutting property owners have the full responsibility to upgrade and maintain the dirt streets. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego’s racial equity push focuses on 40 miles of dirt streets in low-income areas," 23 Aug. 2020 Plus, attendees receive a $50 Turo travel credit, which can be used to upgrade their vehicle for the special night or save for a future adventure. Laura Daily And Bryan K. Chavez, The Know, "Watch a movie in a socially-distanced “pod” under the stars in Aurora," 3 Aug. 2020 Part of the prison reform that’s supposed to be going on in Alabama is to upgrade facilities, including the building of three new prisons. Ike Morgan | Imorgan@al.com, al, "‘Down in Alabama’ on prison sites, an arrested former lawmaker and a Lower Alabama tremor," 4 Sep. 2020 With everyone spending more time than usual at home, creating a relaxing oasis is top of mind, and these unbeatable deals will instantly upgrade your sleep situation. Erin Parker, Glamour, "19 Best Labor Day Mattress Sales and Deals of 2020," 2 Sep. 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

23 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Upgrade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upgrade. Accessed 25 Sep. 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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