a downward slope, especially of a road.

adjective, adverb

verb (used with object), down·grad·ed, down·grad·ing.

to assign to a lower status with a smaller salary.
to minimize the importance of; denigrate: She tried to downgrade the findings of the investigation.
to assign a lower security classification to (information, a document, etc.).


    on the downgrade, in a decline toward an inferior state or position: His career has been on the downgrade.

Origin of downgrade

An Americanism dating back to 1855–60; down1 + grade
Related formsdown·grad·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for downgrade

Contemporary Examples of downgrade

Historical Examples of downgrade

British Dictionary definitions for downgrade


verb (tr)

to reduce in importance, esteem, or value, esp to demote (a person) to a poorer job
to speak of disparagingly


mainly US and Canadian a downward slope, esp in a road
on the downgrade waning in importance, popularity, health, etc
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 downgrade

1858 (n.), 1930 (v.), from down (adv.) + grade.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper