Definition of downshift in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdaʊnʃɪft/


[no object]
1North American Change to a lower gear in a motor vehicle or bicycle: an inertia system that activates whenever the rider brakes or downshifts
More example sentences
  • In automatic mode it will sense via accelerometers when to retain a low gear and when to downshift.
  • You're going to brake for Turn 10 just as the pavement changes (from asphalt to concrete at the start of the corner) and then downshift to second gear from fourth.
  • It also works for travelling down grades, holding a gear and/or downshifting when the brake is tapped.
1.1Slow down; slacken off: well before the country slipped into recession, business was downshifting
More example sentences
  • On the whole, people go on holiday to downshift, to go back a few centuries and to get away from commerce and industry.
  • Everyone has to add value, to move, to upsize or downshift.
  • In China, virtually everything will turn on the ability of the central leadership to downshift the economy without stalling it, " he said.
2Change a financially rewarding but stressful career or lifestyle for a less pressured and less highly paid but more fulfilling one: increasing numbers of men want to downshift from full-time work
More example sentences
  • So you have to save as much as you can and maybe when you hit 50 downshift to a less stressful or part-time job, which will still provide you with some kind of income.
  • They are not ‘resigning to spend more time with their family ‘, but downshifting to a happier and less stressful lifestyle.’
  • ‘I would like people to be able to carry on working and gradually downshift into full time retirement,’ he said yesterday.


1North American A change to a lower gear in a motor vehicle or bicycle: the chain broke during a downshift on a single-track climb
More example sentences
  • Like the V8 it mates to a five-speed automatic with adaptive shift control and a manual mode that matches engine revs on downshifts.
  • Best of all, the engine revs joyously through downshifts, providing a great exhaust note while telling the world this isn't your average TT.
  • Unlike traditional transmissions, the 7-speed will skip up to three gear ratios if necessary during downshifts, providing quick, smooth acceleration.
2.1An instance of changing to a less pressured and less highly paid but more fulfilling career or lifestyle: this downshift coincides with his marriage
More example sentences
  • But these downshifts do not bring you any closer to full-time Downers because they are voluntary moves that form a legitimate part of a self-chosen life project.
  • This goes back to careful thought around the future and what you hope to attain through the downshift.
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