[ doun-sahyz ]
/ ˈdaʊnˌsaɪz /
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See synonyms for: downsize / downsizing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), down·sized, down·siz·ing.
to design or manufacture a smaller version or type of: The automotive industry downsized its cars for improved fuel economy.
to reduce in size or number; cut back: Many small businesses are forced to downsize their workforce during a slow economy.
to dismiss (an employee); lay off or fire: After I was downsized from my marketing position, I took to substitute teaching to make a little money.
verb (used without object)
to become smaller in size or number: The military is downsizing— reducing overseas deployments—and as a result is spending less on supplies.
to move into a smaller residence: Retirees are downsizing these days, giving up oversized and empty nests for apartments that are easier to care for.
Also down·sized . being of a smaller size or version: a downsize car.
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Origin of downsize

An Americanism dating back to 1970–75; down1 + size1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use downsize in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for downsize

/ (ˈdaʊnˌsaɪz) /

verb -sizes, -sizing or -sized (tr)
to reduce the operating costs of a company by reducing the number of people it employs
to reduce the size of or produce a smaller version of (something)
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

Cultural definitions for downsize


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.”

notes for downsize

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.