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

: 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

According to Bugliosi, the LaBiancas were chosen at random after several hours of driving around upscale Los Angeles neighborhoods. Angela Serratore, Smithsonian, "What You Need to Know About the Manson Family Murders," 25 July 2019 Many of those projects got completed, including the Shinola Hotel, Little Caesars Arena and The Scott at Brush Park upscale apartments. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "10 Detroit projects that were announced — but never happened," 20 July 2019 In February 2017, 37-year-old Brandy Sullivan, an Alaska Airlines customer-service agent who lived in an upscale Anchorage suburb, was allegedly shot and killed by her estranged husband. USA Today, "Alaska is considered the deadliest state for women. A staggering 59% of women there have experienced violence.," 25 June 2019 In addition to adding more flights there, the town was in the process of building out a bilingual international school, a hospital with international accreditation and upscale apartments. Paul Mozur, New York Times, "Inside a Heist of American Chip Designs, as China Bids for Tech Power," 22 June 2018 CityCentre, located on Williams Avenue, will include 40,000-square-feet of retail and dining space and 10,000-square-feet of commercial space, set among upscale apartments and the 125-room AC Hotel. William Thornton,, "Southern Fried Hospitality coming to MidCity, CityCentre," 12 Mar. 2018 Little Italy is nestled between the tourist-friendly Inner Harbor and the upscale neighborhood of Harbor East. Meredith Cohn,, "'It’s a natural fit’: Former Ravens star Ray Lewis partners on restaurant in Little Italy," 20 July 2019 The shooting occurred at Huqqabaz, a Turkish cafe in an upscale neighborhood of Irbil. Washington Post, "Turkish diplomat killed by gunmen in northern Iraqi city of Irbil," 19 July 2019 License plate readers posted at both entrances to an upscale Aurora neighborhood snapped pictures of passing cars Wednesday, recording the type, color and license plate number of each vehicle and inputting that information into a database. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Denver-area neighborhoods are installing license plate readers to record every vehicle that passes by," 9 July 2019

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

8 Aug 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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of or relating to the heavens

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