up·​scale | \ ˈəp-ˈskāl How to pronounce upscale (audio) \

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

1 : 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
2 : to increase the size; scope, or scale of (something) A star is an upscaled nuclear reactor, not a bonfire.— Laurence A. Marschall As a result, an upscaling of the problem of underrepresentation to the national scale mobilizes scalar politics …— Emily Skop



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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Synonyms & Antonyms for upscale

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of upscale in a Sentence

Adjective a new upscale shopping center is under construction on the west end of town
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Highlights include capable handling, the intuitive Sync 3 infotainment system, and a roomy cabin designed with upscale materials. Washington Post, "Edmunds: 4th of July deals less generous but still solid," 1 July 2020 Phoenix officials often argue that GPLETs are still necessary tools to encourage high-rise development — which is substantially more expensive to build than standard midsize apartment complexes — even in more upscale areas. Jessica Boehm, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix gave illegal tax break to developer of downtown apartment complex, judge rules," 25 June 2020 Police urged restaurants, shops and businesses on the route between the upscale Place de la Republique square and Opera areas to close and board up their windows due to the risk of civil disorder. NBC News, "Far-right demonstrators gather in London to 'protect' symbols of UK history," 13 June 2020 Their upscale wedding was originally supposed to be filmed for a reality show. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Bridal Bliss: Mia And William Had Plenty Surprises At Their Upscale Glam Wedding," 10 June 2020 Organizers specifically chose upscale areas such as the gentrified downtown, Beverly Hills, and the beachside community of Santa Monica to bring their message home. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘See the fire’: George Floyd and the effects of violent protest," 2 June 2020 Protesters in Philadelphia hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at police, officials said, while masked crowds broke into upscale stores in a San Francisco suburb, fleeing with bags of merchandise. Matt Sedensky,, "US cities assess protest damage, await another day of unrest," 31 May 2020 The Indiana Roof Ballroom, where the party normally is held, and its Crystal Catering team will be in charge of the assembly and delivery of the boxes, which will be filled with upscale food and beverage items from Hoosier businesses. David Lindquist, The Indianapolis Star, "What entertainment at the 2020 Indy 500 is canceled and what will be different," 10 July 2020 Located near the airport, the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay is an upscale property located on 35 waterfront acres. Kara Franker, Southern Living, "Things to Do in Tampa, Florida: Attractions and Travel Guide," 10 July 2020

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 at sense 1


1977, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for upscale

Time Traveler

The first known use of upscale was in 1963

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Statistics for upscale

Last Updated

1 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Upscale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce upscale (audio)

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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