• synonyms


[adjective uhp-skeyl; verb uhp-skeyl; noun uhp-skeyl]Informal.
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  1. located at, moving toward, or of or for the upper end of a social or economic scale: The boutique caters to upscale young career people.
  2. luxurious, costly, or elegant.
verb (used with object), up·scaled, up·scal·ing.
  1. to improve the quality, value, or rating of: a five-year plan to upscale the neighborhood.
  1. (used with a plural verb) elegant, elite, privileged persons collectively (usually preceded by the): shops that only the upscale can afford to patronize.

Origin of upscale

An Americanism dating back to 1970–75; up- + scale3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for upscale


adjective (ˈʌpˈskeɪl)
  1. of or for the upper end of an economic or social scale; up-market
verb (ˈʌpˌskeɪl)
  1. (tr) to increase the scale of
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for upscale


1966, "at the higher end of a scale, superior," from up + noun derivative of scale (n.3).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper