View synonyms for downsize


[ doun-sahyz ]

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 size or number; cut back:

    Many small businesses are forced to downsize their workforce during a slow economy.

  3. 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)

  1. to become smaller in size or number:

    The military is downsizing— reducing overseas deployments—and as a result is spending less on supplies.

  2. 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.


  1. Also downsized. being of a smaller size or version:

    a downsize car.


/ ˈdaʊnˌsaɪz /


  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 microcomputers Compare 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


  1. 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.”

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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.
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Word History and Origins

Origin of downsize1

An Americanism dating back to 1970–75; down 1 + size 1
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Example Sentences

Her family — two children, her parents, her sister, and two nieces — downsized to a two-bedroom apartment after she lost her wages working at a college cafeteria.

“Legacy List” — “keep the memories, lose the stuff” — travels to the homes of people who are downsizing or moving.

Many downsized or rescheduled, sometimes for months or a year later.

From Fortune

Six years later, a new Smithsonian administration has jettisoned the eye-popping elements of the $2 billion design by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, opting instead for a dramatically downsized version.

That money, it turns out, goes a long way when many other teams are downsizing.

Downsize Fitness, a Chicago-based, overweight-only gym, is upsizing in a hurry.

But Downsize Fitness, which requires members to be overweight, plans to make a profit by creating community.

Downsize wants to grow by opening gyms under its own name and ownership, rather than selling franchises and licenses.

Downsize has combined these three insights into a new business model.

To join Downsize, members must have at least 50 pounds of weight to lose.