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 City Council’s approval in 2016 of a five-year, $15 million upgrade, funded by ratepayers, was challenged by Leslie Wilde, a former councilwoman. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "California Supreme Court says no go to referendum challenges to certain state laws," 3 Aug. 2020 For next-level listening, these headphones will be a welcome upgrade from your old wired 'buds. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "You can save $150 on a pair of Beats Studio3 wireless headphones right now," 31 July 2020 Alabama’s in the midst of a $107 million upgrade to Bryant-Denny Stadium that few -- if any -- fans will enjoy this fall. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "Alabama expects ‘significantly reduced’ capacity for football games," 30 July 2020 The upgrade proceeded with the input of car enthusiasts in more than 50 countries. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, "'Soda bombs' and 'pizza security': The lessons of making a car for Domino's," 11 July 2020 University Health System will launch a sweeping, $170 million technology upgrade Saturday after delaying its implementation for two months because of the escalating public health crisis. Laura Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "University Health System to launch $170 million tech upgrade during coronavirus crisis," 8 July 2020 That's generally going to be the Ryzen 9 3950X, which didn't get an XT upgrade and outperforms the Ryzen 9 3900XT in most respects. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "AMD’s Ryzen 3000XT CPU refresh is here—benchmarks inside," 7 July 2020 Older model TVs dating to 2016 have received the same software upgrade, which should improve their performance as well. Jason Cipriani, CNN Underscored, "Vizio’s 2021 lineup launches today, with its first OLED TV and Elevate soundbar arriving this fall," 30 June 2020 Orthopedic gel cushioning gives your backside an upgrade from the thin, stiffly padded seats that most bikes come with from the factory. Matt Jancer, Wired, "The 12 Best 4th of July Deals on Outdoor Gear," 30 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bare Bones, the game’s perk-less, killstreak-less, field upgrade-less variant for team deathmatch, domination, HQ, hardpoint, and kill confirmed, is also expected for Season 5. Mike Hume, Washington Post, "Warzone Season 5 map changes, battle pass highlights and more," 4 Aug. 2020 But a city assessment in 2014 found numerous leaks in aging water pipes and a need to upgrade a 105-year-old water storage tank to maintain water pressure and fire protection. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "California Supreme Court says no go to referendum challenges to certain state laws," 3 Aug. 2020 Significant investment has been made to upgrade the Wi-Fi this summer, ensuring that there’s enough bandwidth to keep the pupils online. The Economist, "Class struggle The pandemic puts a strain on elite private schools," 2 Aug. 2020 The easiest way to upgrade your audio is to snag a USB microphone. Parker Hall, Wired, "Want to Start a Podcast or Livestream? Here's What You Need," 27 June 2020 All made in New York City, Ashya's stunning leather belt bags, crossbody bags, and passport holders will upgrade your travel looks. Travel + Leisure Staff, Travel + Leisure, "12 Black-owned Travel, Fashion, and Accessories Brands to Know and Support," 7 July 2020 India's Muslims are struggling not to upgrade themselves from their status as second-class citizens but just to remain citizens. Shikha Dalmia, TheWeek, "What makes America exceptional," 2 July 2020 The Beaver coaching staff went to work the past few years to upgrade the secondary talent, without necessarily identifying players as cornerbacks and safeties. oregonlive, "Oregon State 2020 football position preview: Beavers hope many moves at acquiring talent pay off at safety," 30 June 2020 With consumers holding on to older phones longer and taking their time to upgrade to the latest model, Apple was banking on its new credit card, a new streaming service and even its new gaming venture to bring in the next round of profits. Shannon Liao, CNN, "Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook bet on gaming. Here's how they've done so far," 28 June 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

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Upgrade.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upgrade. Accessed 8 Aug. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on upgrade

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for upgrade

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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