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From down- +‎ grade.


  • (noun) IPA(key): /ˈdaʊnˌɡɹeɪd/
  • (file)
  • (verb) IPA(key): /ˌdaʊnˈɡɹeɪd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: (verb) -eɪd
  • Hyphenation: down‧grade


downgrade (plural downgrades)

  1. A reduction of a rating, as a financial or credit rating.
  2. A downhill gradient on a road or railway.
    • 1960 April, “English Electric diesels for the Sudan Railways”, in Trains Illustrated, page 218:
      [...] dynamic braking is fitted to the 99-ton, 55 ft.-long locomotives to help control these otherwise vacuum-braked trains on the long, continuous downgrades encountered on the coastal route.
  3. A reduction in quality; a descent towards an inferior state.


downgrade (third-person singular simple present downgrades, present participle downgrading, simple past and past participle downgraded)

  1. To place lower in position.
    The stock was downgraded from ‘buy’ to ‘sell’.
  2. To reduce in complexity, or remove unnecessary parts; to dumb down.
    • 2012 June 26, Genevieve Koski, “Music: Reviews: Justin Bieber: Believe”, in The A.V. Club[1], archived from the original on 6 August 2020:
      More significantly, rigid deference to [Justin] Bieber’s still-young core fan base keeps things resolutely PG, with any acknowledgement of sex either couched in vague “touch your body” workarounds or downgraded to desirous hand-holding and eye-gazing.
  3. (transitive) To disparage.
    • 1981, King Royer, Construction Manager in the 80's, page 278:
      Without downgrading my friends in the Building Trades, driving a nail or sawing a board is relatively simple.
  4. (meteorology) to reduce the official estimate of a storm's intensity.
  5. (computing) To revert software back to an older version.