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up·​scale ˈəp-ˈskāl How to pronounce upscale (audio)
: relating to, being, or appealing to affluent consumers
also : of a superior quality


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upscaled; upscaling; upscales

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
: 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


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: 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

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
Becoming one of Miami’s upscale restaurants has never been the goal. Connie Ogle, Miami Herald, 6 June 2024 Honolulu is home to hundreds of places to stay, from upscale resorts to guest houses and vacation rentals. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 2 June 2024
Microsoft is also adding Auto Super Resolution to Windows 11, which automatically upscales games to improve frame rates and graphics resolution. Tom Warren, The Verge, 20 May 2024 Bank of America’s Moynihan told Bloomberg TV on Monday that his firm has upscaled from a hundred people in Paris to about 750. Alexandre Rajbhandari, Fortune Europe, 14 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for upscale 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'upscale.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1966, in the meaning defined above


1963, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1977, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of upscale was in 1963

Dictionary Entries Near upscale

Cite this Entry

“Upscale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: relating to, being, or appealing to wealthy consumers
upscale shops
: of a superior quality
upscale products

More from Merriam-Webster on upscale

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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