[ adjective uhp-skeyl; verb uhp-skeyl; noun uhp-skeyl ]
/ adjective ˈʌpˈskeɪl; verb ʌpˈskeɪl; noun ˈʌpˌskeɪl /


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.

Nearby words

  1. ups,
  2. ups and downs,
  3. upsa-daisy,
  4. upsadaisy,
  5. upsala,
  6. upset,
  7. upset price,
  8. upset the applecart,
  9. upsetting,
  10. upsetting lever

Origin of upscale

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

British Dictionary definitions for upscaling


/ informal /

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 upscaling



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper