Etymology
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upgrade (n.)

also up-grade, 1847, "upward slope," from up (adj.) + grade (n.). The meaning "upgraded version" is recorded from 1980.

upgrade (v.)

"increase to a higher grade or rank," 1904 (transitive); 1950 (intransitive), from up (adv.) + grade (v.). Related: Upgraded; upgrading.

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Definitions of upgrade
1
upgrade (n.)
an upward slope or grade (as in a road);
Synonyms: ascent / acclivity / rise / raise / climb
upgrade (n.)
software that provides better performance than an earlier version did;
upgrade (n.)
a reservation that is improved;
I got an upgrade to first class when coach class was full
upgrade (n.)
the property possessed by a slope or surface that rises;
Synonyms: rise / rising slope
upgrade (n.)
hardware that provides better performance than an earlier version did;
upgrade (n.)
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
2
upgrade (v.)
rate higher; raise in value or esteem;
upgrade (v.)
to improve what was old or outdated;
The company upgraded their personnel
I've upgraded my computer so I can run better software
upgrade (v.)
give a promotion to or assign to a higher position;
Synonyms: promote / advance / kick upstairs / raise / elevate
upgrade (v.)
get better travel conditions;
I upgraded to First Class when Coach Class was overbooked
upgrade (v.)
give better travel conditions to;
The airline upgraded me when I arrived late and Coach Class was full
From wordnet.princeton.edu