Meaning of “downgrade” in the English Dictionary

"downgrade" in American English

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downgradeverb [ T ]

us /ˈdɑʊnˌɡreɪd/

to reduce someone or something to a lower rank or position; to make less important or less valued:

They threatened to downgrade my credit rating if I don’t pay the bill immediately.

(Definition of “downgrade” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"downgrade" in Business English

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downgradeverb [ T ]

uk /ˌdaʊnˈɡreɪd/ us /ˈdaʊnɡreɪd/

FINANCE to state that something such as a company is likely to produce less profit or growth, to be less able to pay back debt, etc. than was previously thought:

downgrade stocks/shares
downgrade sth's rating/status Investment bank Merrill Lynch downgraded the company's status from 'buy' to 'neutral'.
The Chancellor blamed higher oil prices for the downgraded growth forecast.

HR to make a job less senior, skilled, or important than before, or to put someone into a less senior or important job:

The new contracts effectively downgraded their jobs to match their colleagues' lower pay.
The agreement may lead to one in six staff being downgraded.

downgradenoun [ C ]

uk /ˈdaʊnɡreɪd/ us

FINANCE a statement that something such as a company's profit, ability to pay back debt, etc. will be less than was expected:

A credit rating downgrade would raise their cost of borrowing.

(Definition of “downgrade” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)