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.).

Nearby words

  1. downey cell,
  2. downfall,
  3. downfallen,
  4. downfield,
  5. downforce,
  6. downgrowth,
  7. downhaul,
  8. downhearted,
  9. downheartedly,
  10. downhill


    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

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