AskDefine | Define upgrade

Dictionary Definition



1 an upward slope or grade (as in a road); "the car couldn't make it up the rise" [syn: ascent, acclivity, rise, raise, climb] [ant: descent]
2 software that provides better performance than an earlier version did
3 a reservation that is upgraded; "I got an upgrade to first class when coach class was full"
4 the property possessed by a slope or surface that rises [syn: rise, rising slope]
5 hardware that provides better performance than an earlier version did
6 the act of improving something (especially machinery) by raising it to a higher grade (as by adding or replacing components); "the power plant received a new upgrade"


1 rate higher; raise in value or esteem [ant: downgrade]
2 to improve, especially something that was old or outdated; "I've upgraded my computer so I can run better software"; "The company upgraded their personnel"
3 give a promotion to or assign to a higher position; "John was kicked upstairs when a replacement was hired"; "Women tend not to advance in the major law firms"; "I got promoted after many years of hard work" [syn: promote, advance, kick upstairs, raise, elevate] [ant: demote]
4 get better travel conditions; "I upgraded to First Class when Coach Class was overbooked"
5 give better travel conditions to; "The airline upgraded me when I arrived late and Coach Class was full"

User Contributed Dictionary



From up + grade.


  1. an improved component or replacement item, usually applied to technology



  1. to improve, usually applied to technology, generally by complete replacement of one or more components
  2. to replace an existing object with something better
  3. to replace a program with a later version of itself, a version having a higher version number or marketed under a more recent product name


to improve
to replace an existing object with something better
to replace a program with a later version of itself

Extensive Definition

The term upgrade is most often used in computing and consumer electronics, generally meaning a replacement of hardware, software or firmware with a newer or better version, in order to bring the system up to date or to improve its characteristics. The word is also used by audiophiles to describe the replacement of a product with a better quality product with the aim of bringing enhancements to sound quality.

Computing and Consumer Electronics

Common hardware upgrades are installing additional memory (RAM), adding larger hard disks, replacing microprocessor cards or graphics cards, and installing new versions of software, although many other upgrades are often possible as well.
Common software upgrades include changing the version of an operating system, office suite, anti-virus program, or various other tools.
Common firmware upgrades include the updating of the iPod control menus, the XBox 360 dashboard, or the non-volatile flash memory that contains the embedded operating system for consumer electronics.
Software and firmware upgrades are often downloaded from the Internet. Often the download is a patch—it does not contain the new version of the software in its entirety, just the changes that need to be made. Software patches usually aim to improve functionality or solve problems with security. Rushed patches have been known to cause more harm then good and are therefore sometimes regarded with scepticism for a short time after release. Patches are generally free.
A software or firmware upgrade can be major or minor and the release version is increased accordingly. A major upgrade will change the version number, whereas the minor will usually follow with a ".01", ".02", ".03", etc. For example, version 10.03 means that that is the third minor upgrade of version 10. The minor upgrades (or updates) are generally free, but the major versions must be purchased. See also: sidegrade.
An "upgrade" is when you replace a product with a newer version of that same product. When you make an upgrade of the same product from one company to the other, you are making a "competitive upgrade".


The hobby is a rich playground for potential upgraders and tweakers.
The noun 'upgrade' is used in audiophile circles to describe the replacement of a system component or components, for example a low quality or low powered electronic amplifier, with a better quality or more powerful amplifier from the same or different manufacturer's product range ostensibly to improve on the quality of reproduced music from the hi-fi system.
However, the description generally excludes the modification to the sound using different types of interconnect cables, or the replacement of electronic components within the system components by the owners in order to customise the sound, as this would constitute DIY or tweaking.
The word has spawned the noun upgraditis, which is used to describe a person's obsession, compulsion, or addiction akin to a disease to perpetually changing his/her hi-fi system components in order to obtain ever greater enjoyment and fulfilment through enhancements to sound quality. Although the original aim is to improve the sound quality, persons with extreme manifestations of this disorder may completely lose sight of the objective, and would make frequently and highly expensive component changes for its own sake.

See also

External links

upgrade in German: Upgrade
upgrade in Italian: Aggiornamento (informatica)
upgrade in Dutch: Upgrade
upgrade in Polish: Upgrade
upgrade in Portuguese: Upgrade

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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