See more synonyms for downsize on
verb (used with object), down·sized, down·siz·ing.
  1. to design or manufacture a smaller version or type of: The automotive industry downsized its cars for improved fuel economy.
  2. to reduce in number; cut back.
  1. Also down·sized. being of a smaller size or version: a downsize car.

Origin of downsize

An Americanism dating back to 1970–75; down1 + size1
Can be confuseddownsize fire lay off rightsize terminate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for downsize

trim, retrench, reduce, diminish, curtail, shrink, cut, deduct, decrease

Examples from the Web for downsize

Contemporary Examples of downsize

British Dictionary definitions for downsize


verb -sizes, -sizing or -sized (tr)
  1. to reduce the operating costs of a company by reducing the number of people it employs
  2. to reduce the size of or produce a smaller version of (something)
  3. to upgrade (a computer system) by replacing a mainframe or minicomputer with a network of microcomputersCompare rightsize
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 downsize

1986 in reference to companies shedding jobs; earlier (1975) in reference to U.S. automakers building smaller cars and trucks (supposedly a coinage at General Motors), from down (adv.) + size (v.). Related: Downsized; downsizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

downsize in Culture


To reduce in number, especially personnel: “The company decided to downsize half the workers in the aircraft division.” It can also be used in reference to objects: “I decided to downsize my wardrobe and threw out all my old T-shirts.”


Downsize is a recent euphemism for “fire, lay off.” Company managers often use this term in an attempt to soften the blow of wide-scale layoffs.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.