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

The position group would get a significant upgrade with Pinkney, arguably the most complete tight end in this year’s class. Kevin Hanson, SI.com, "2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy in the Top Three," 11 Sep. 2019 Your at-home spay day is about to get a major upgrade! Braelyn Wood, Health.com, "This At-Home Microdermabrasion Pen Is Your Anti-Aging Secret for Fine Lines," 11 Sep. 2019 One of America's most recognizable board games is getting an upgrade. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "In the new game of Monopoly, women make more than men," 10 Sep. 2019 Pigeon Point Lighthouse, a 115-foot-tall brick structure that towers over the scenic, rural coastline between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz, is finally getting an upgrade. Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, "$9 million restoration OK’d for historic Pigeon Point Lighthouse on San Mateo County coast," 6 Sep. 2019 Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers remains the most physically gifted quarterback in the NFL and gets a playbook upgrade from the old school in Mike McCarthy (fired in December) to LaFleur’s perceived offensive mastery. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "NFC preview: Will new coaching staff propel Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay back to title chase?," 5 Sep. 2019 The quintessential college experience of getting pizza delivered to your dorm room is about to get a high-tech upgrade. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Thousands of autonomous delivery robots are about to descend on US college campuses," 20 Aug. 2019 Sure, s’mores are a simple pleasure, but everything gets an upgrade at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "National S’mores Day is Aug. 10: Here’s where to get toasted," 8 Aug. 2019 Samsung The best big phones on the market are getting an upgrade. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "Samsung unveils the gigantic Note 10 and Note 10+," 7 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 For the rickshaw pullers, lack of access to funds and confidence to try new technology were barriers to upgrading to an electric vehicle (EV) independently. Kartik Chandramouli, Quartz India, "How former rickshaw pullers are steering a green revolution on Indian roads," 7 Aug. 2019 Crane’s donation is intriguing, in part, because currently Woods, through his design firm, has been examining a project to renovate and upgrade the Jackson Park golf course to a PGA-caliber course. Lolly Bowean, chicagotribune.com, "Obama Foundation draws 8 new big-money donors, including the former president’s golfing buddy," 15 July 2019 If the offseason upgrades to OSU’s defense are real, Moore shouldn’t get close to the 102 tackles of a year ago. oregonlive.com, "Oregon State football, top 19 players for 2019: No. 9, Jalen Moore," 13 July 2019 Or that the still-cool Roundtree, upgraded here from the uncle to the father of Jackson’s character, is actually 76. Kenneth Turan, latimes.com, "Review: Despite Samuel L. Jackson, this ‘Shaft’ is down for the count," 12 June 2019 This very affordable option from FitBit is a smart watch upgrade to the classic FitBit band. Simona Matovic, oregonlive, "There’s still time to give Dad the gift of time | Watches for Father’s Day under $275," 11 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

4 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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