[adjective uhp-skeyl; verb uhp-skeyl; noun uhp-skeyl]Informal.


located at, moving toward, or of or for the upper end of a social or economic scale: The boutique caters to upscale young career people.
luxurious, costly, or elegant.

verb (used with object), up·scaled, up·scal·ing.

to improve the quality, value, or rating of: a five-year plan to upscale the neighborhood.


(used with a plural verb) elegant, elite, privileged persons collectively (usually preceded by the): shops that only the upscale can afford to patronize.

Origin of upscale

An Americanism dating back to 1970–75; up- + scale3 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for upscale

Contemporary Examples of upscale

British Dictionary definitions for upscale


adjective (ˈʌpˈskeɪl)

of or for the upper end of an economic or social scale; up-market

verb (ˈʌpˌskeɪl)

(tr) to increase the scale of
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 upscale

1966, "at the higher end of a scale, superior," from up + noun derivative of scale (n.3).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper