Definition of downgrade in English:


Pronunciation /ˈdaʊnɡreɪd/ /daʊnˈɡreɪd/


[with object]
  • Reduce to a lower grade, rank, or level of importance.

    ‘some jobs had gradually been downgraded from skilled to semi-skilled’
    • ‘By upgrading the importance of other factors he downgraded the importance of economic growth in the development process.’
    • ‘Evacuees were not paying council tax and some bandings had been downgraded, reducing the amount of rates collected.’
    • ‘However, under this legislation we have downgraded safety to the same level as sustainability.’
    • ‘After downgrading its own forecasts, profits are expected to fall in 2001.’
    • ‘Moments ago, in fact, we just told you it was downgraded to a tropical storm.’
    • ‘Having downgraded the news section two years ago, he now feels that ‘frankly there should be more news’.’
    • ‘Five years ago Selby police station's cells were downgraded due to cutbacks, and prisoners could only spend six hours there.’
    • ‘Even when cannabis is downgraded from a Class B to a Class C drug next year, her relative could still face charges for buying the drug.’
    • ‘In my life on the internet I had just downgraded the firewall from a minor nuisance to virtual non-existent.’
    • ‘It would also make investment less viable, a beautiful place would be downgraded and there would be health risks.’
    • ‘Campaigners fighting to maintain services at the hospital took this as a sign the hospital would not be downgraded.’
    • ‘Fears are growing in Limerick this week that cancer services at the Regional Hospital could be downgraded.’
    • ‘Boots' shares were downgraded by British analysts following disappointing second quarter results last week.’
    • ‘Although the weather system was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm as it passed over land it brought more than a foot of rain to some areas.’
    • ‘Its British broker, downgraded their rating on the company to neutral from buy yesterday morning.’
    • ‘But the report has stopped short of recommending which hospitals will be downgraded.’
    • ‘They downgraded the match from an international to a challenge.’
    • ‘Apart from the ease of apparently authentic numbering, holograms have been globally downgraded as a protection.’
    • ‘Over the course of development, that number was downgraded to roughly 1,300 spots.’
    • ‘Their concern is that the quality of service will be downgraded if the proposals are implemented.’
    demote, lower, lower in status, lower in rank, reduce in rank, reduce in importance
    disparage, denigrate, detract from, run down, decry, belittle, make light of, minimize, defame
    View synonyms


  • 1An instance of reducing someone or something's rank, status, or level of importance.

    ‘downgrades by debt-rating agencies outnumber upgrades by five to one’
    • ‘A later rating by rival Moody's Investors Service kept Ford's debt rating at investment-grade status, the S&P downgrades shocked the corporate bond market.’
    • ‘The code of conduct threatens penalties ranging from administrative sanctions and temporary suspension of duty, to rank downgrades and dismissal.’
    • ‘With no suitable alternative location being offered by the Council the removal of the taxi rank is a downgrade in the taxi service of Ballina.’
    • ‘The latest figures issued on Friday on the economy's performance may appear to be a fractional downgrade of no great importance.’
    • ‘Despite the downgrade to a club level sport, Cross believes Macalester's skiers will still be able to compete in intercollegiate competition.’
    • ‘The removal of the headquarters effectively downgrades York's military status.’
    • ‘To the extent that there are unexpected levels of downgrades, we may not need to see any loss for there to be some sort of credit event.’
    • ‘S&P put the company on negative credit watch on Sept. 12 for a possible downgrade to noninvestment-grade status.’
    • ‘Investors took that as a hint that a downgrade to junk status may be in the offing.’
    • ‘In other markets, there could be a high level of earnings disappointment which has led to some downgrades.’
    • ‘Some analysts have speculated that GM could face a downgrade of its credit rating to junk status.’
    • ‘Get ready for additional downgrades in California debt ratings, in cuts with almost the shocking speed of the utilities’ plunge to junk status.’
    • ‘On July 15, the Federal Reserve chairman told Congress that a slowdown in the pace of corporate debt-rating downgrades is a good sign for the American economy.’
    • ‘More importantly, the blanket downgrade of Fitch implies an extraordinary delinquency in respect of its regulatory oversight functions.’
    • ‘The gossips say the group is being hit by declining advertising revenue and a drop in market share in its important US college market which could result in further profit downgrades once figures are issued.’
    • ‘In wake of the liquidity and cash flow problems, rating agencies are closely monitoring the institution for a possible downgrade.’
    • ‘Still, with the stock battered and rating agencies considering further downgrades, that could rapidly change.’
    • ‘Even the whisper of new equity or debt offerings provokes warnings of downgrades from rating agencies and investor stampedes.’
    • ‘Contractual disputes and cost blow-outs on the project have seen Multiplex issue three profit downgrades, and investors have slashed 40 per cent off Multiplex's share price this year.’
    • ‘Obviously, this estimate is used to strengthen the case for further downgrades.’
  • 2North American A downward gradient on a railway or road.

    ‘a steep downgrade for which he had to put the car in second’
    • ‘This was the original Montreal-Toronto mainline (legally the Ontario & Quebec Railway) and a roller coaster of upgrades and downgrades.’
    • ‘On steeper downgrades, a higher acceleration will be achievable through the assistance of gravity.’
    • ‘Soon after they resumed, the road crested a hill and began switching back and forth sharply, for the downgrade was very steep.’
    • ‘This recovery was due more to sharp operation on the long downgrade to Hinton than any display of power on the T1's part.’
    • ‘Complicating matters was the fact the yard was on a downgrade and cars had to be ridden and hand-braked to prevent them from running out over Strachan Avenue and into the dump.’
    • ‘The track from Brient to Michipicoten is on a heavy downgrade.’
    • ‘The earnings season is generally positive, ratings trends are allowing for more upgrades than downgrades, economic data is supportive that growth will continue, and new issuance in both debt and equity remains limited.’


    on the downgrade
    North American
    • In decline.

      ‘profits are on the downgrade’
      • ‘Another good bet to pick out now is Moscow Flyer in the Queen Mother - he has always convinced as a class act and also because most of his opponents are old stars on the downgrade.’
      • ‘Optus's parent Singtel fell three per cent on the downgrade news and Telstra was down half a per cent or two cents to $4.46.’
      • ‘Placed twice in this in the past but tailed off last year and looks on the downgrade nowadays.’



/ˈdaʊnɡreɪd/ /daʊnˈɡreɪd/