To downsize is to make something smaller. You might downsize your collection of vintage china by selling everything that's nicked or chipped.

You can downsize the items you own by giving them away, and you can downsize your living situation by moving from a huge house to a very small apartment. When a company downsizes, it almost always means it's reducing the number of employees, making the company smaller by laying them off. This last meaning has only been around since the 1980s.

Primary Meanings of downsize

reduce in size or number
make in a smaller size
Full Definitions of downsize

v reduce in size or number

“the company downsized its research staff”
Type of:
bring down, cut, cut back, cut down, reduce, trim, trim back, trim down
cut down on; make a reduction in

v dismiss from work

“three secretaries were downsized during the financial crisis”
Type of:
furlough, lay off
dismiss, usually for economic reasons

v make in a smaller size

“the car makers downsized the SUVs when fuel became very expensive”
Type of:
reduce, shrink
reduce in size; reduce physically

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