up·​scale | \ ˈəp-ˈskāl \

Definition of upscale

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: relating to, being, or appealing to affluent consumers also : of a superior quality


upscaled; upscaling; upscales

Definition of upscale (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make (something) more appealing to affluent consumers : to make (something) more upscale The council is renaming them the Fashion Awards, globalizing them, moving the hoopla around them to the Royal Albert Hall and otherwise upscaling them.— Vanessa Friedman "Everybody's trying to upscale men's colognes because the prestige brands have taken share from the mass brands," says cosmetics industry consultant Allan Mottus.— Ronald Alsop also : to improve the quality of (something) … even retained a handwriting teacher to upscale her penmanship—no more tiny circles over her i's. — Brad Darrach



Definition of upscale (Entry 3 of 3)

: to or toward the upper, more expensive end of a range of products or services He tried to move upscale—toward higher-cost, higher-profit garments, which, in theory, would be less susceptible to price competition.— James Lardner … chef Celestino Drago has taken Sicilian cuisine upscale in his chic Santa Monica restaurant.— Thomas Matthews

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Other Words from upscale


upscale adverb or transitive verb

Synonyms & Antonyms for upscale

Synonyms: Adjective

exclusive, high-end, upmarket

Antonyms: Adjective

dime-store, discount, down-market, downscale, low-end

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Examples of upscale in a Sentence


a new upscale shopping center is under construction on the west end of town

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

That is certainly the case for Hotel Le Sereno, the chic, upscale hideaway nestled on Grand Cul-de-Sac, a turquoise lagoon that also happens to be a protected nature reserve. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "The Best Room At ... Le Sereno St. Barts," 1 Feb. 2019 The magazine features advertisements for fine wines, upscale vacations and expensive jewelry. Stephen Miller, WSJ, "‘The Ravages of Capitalism’," 21 Jan. 2019 There’s probably only one dad in the upscale part of town who got there by putting in the considerable time, money, and frustration required to bring an idea to fruition. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "The Best, Simplest Innovation in Wired Power Comes from 1980s Australia," 16 Jan. 2019 Tucked into a secluded canyon, the 157-acre Auberge Resort property was designed to look like a vintner’s estate—think an upscale mountain lodge with spacious cedar shingle cabins nestled in a California forest. Olivia Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "Where to Eat and Drink in Napa Valley," 9 Jan. 2019 With some guidance from customers seeking more upscale options for the office, Target set out to develop its own collection of dialed-back workwear. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Here's Your First Look at Prologue, Target's New Workwear Fashion Brand," 5 Sep. 2018 Lime says its bikes, in contrast, are upscale, with a battery to provide an electric assist for going uphill. Mike Cherney, WSJ, "Lime Looks to Peddle Its Bicycles in Australia," 16 Jan. 2019 The Leaf’s new styling creates a sleeker profile and more upscale look than the bland original. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Review: Electric 2018 Nissan Leaf energized by value and range," 7 June 2018 In the sleep economy, products are developed with scientific fervor, materials are upscale, and the technology is sophisticated, slick, and supposedly effective. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "Getting a good night’s sleep is a luxury — and can come at a high price.," 9 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'upscale.' 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 upscale


1966, in the meaning defined above


1963, in the meaning defined above


1977, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for upscale

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for upscale

The first known use of upscale was in 1963

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More Definitions for upscale



English Language Learners Definition of upscale

 (Entry 1 of 2)

US : relating to or appealing to people who have a lot of money



English Language Learners Definition of upscale (Entry 2 of 2)

US : to make (something) more appealing to people who have a lot of money

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More from Merriam-Webster on upscale

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with upscale

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for upscale

Nglish: Translation of upscale for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of upscale for Arabic Speakers

Comments on upscale

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