Other forms: upgraded; upgrades; upgrading

To upgrade is to make improvements to something or exchange it for a better version. Some people upgrade their phone every time a new model comes out, while others prudently wait to see which new features they really need.

Upgrade is also a noun: "I was lucky enough to get an upgrade to the first-class section of the plane!" Whether a noun or a verb, this word commonly used to refer to electronic equipment, particularly computers and smartphones. If a company upgrades the network in their offices, they purchase new computers or improve internet connection speeds. The original meaning of the noun upgrade was "sloping up," as in a steep hill.

Definitions of upgrade
  1. verb
    rate higher; raise in value or esteem
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    rate lower; lower in value or esteem
    type of:
    grade, order, place, range, rank, rate
    assign a rank or rating to
  2. verb
    give a promotion to or assign to a higher position
    synonyms: advance, elevate, kick upstairs, promote, raise
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    break, bump, demote, kick downstairs, relegate
    assign to a lower position; reduce in rank
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    give life-time employment to
    bring up
    promote from a lower position or rank
    spot promote
    promote on the spot
    ennoble, entitle, gentle
    give a title to someone; make someone a member of the nobility
    favor, favour, prefer
    promote or prefer over another
    promote somebody by brevet, in the military
    baronetise, baronetize
    confer baronetcy upon
    make a lord of someone
    dub, knight
    raise (someone) to knighthood
    give an advantage to
    type of:
    assign, delegate, depute, designate
    give an assignment to (a person) to a post, or assign a task to (a person)
  3. verb
    get better travel conditions
    “I upgraded to First Class when Coach Class was overbooked”
  4. verb
    give better travel conditions to
    “The airline upgraded me when I arrived late and Coach Class was full”
  5. noun
    a reservation that is improved
    “I got an upgrade to first class when coach class was full”
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    type of:
    something reserved in advance (as a hotel accommodation or a seat on a plane etc.)
  6. verb
    improve what was old or outdated
    “I've upgraded my computer so I can run better software”
    “The company upgraded their personnel”
  7. noun
    the act of improving something (especially machinery) by raising it to a higher grade (as by adding or replacing components)
    “the power plant received a new upgrade
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    type of:
    the act of improving something
  8. noun
    software that provides better performance than an earlier version did
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    type of:
    computer software, package, software, software package, software program, software system
    (computer science) written programs or procedures or rules and associated documentation pertaining to the operation of a computer system and that are stored in read/write memory
  9. noun
    hardware that provides better performance than an earlier version did
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    type of:
    computer hardware, hardware
    (computer science) the mechanical, magnetic, electronic, and electrical components making up a computer system
  10. noun
    the property possessed by a slope or surface that rises
    synonyms: rise, rising slope
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    type of:
    the gradient of a slope or road or other surface
  11. noun
    an upward slope or grade (as in a road)
    synonyms: acclivity, ascent, climb, raise, rise
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    declension, declination, decline, declivity, descent, downslope, fall
    a downward slope or bend
    the upward slope of a hill
    type of:
    incline, side, slope
    an elevated geological formation
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘upgrade'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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