Definition of downshift in English:



  • 1Change 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’
    • ‘Two years ago Jeremy Hawkins downshifted from London's financial district, where he had worked for 23 years, to a home-based life.’
    • ‘One can continue to be an Upper in good standing by downsizing and downshifting from a house in Holland Park to a cottage in mid-Wales, from £200,000 a year in the City to £10,000 a year as a carpenter or potter.’
    • ‘Like her friend, she has downshifted into a Cool Britannia lifestyle.’
    • ‘According to them, authors of Getting A Life, one in eight people in work have taken steps towards simplifying their lives - downshifting - or are thinking of doing so.’
    • ‘They are not ‘resigning to spend more time with their family ‘, but downshifting to a happier and less stressful lifestyle.’’
    • ‘When a laird and his wife swapped their Perthshire castle for a tiny Italian farmhouse they were meant to be downshifting on a dramatic scale.’
    • ‘One of the biggest barriers to downshifting to the country for many people is not simply financial or professional, but a well-established life.’
    • ‘After the birth of Skylar, software engineer Bryan decided to downshift his career and only work four days a week.’
    • ‘One retail analyst said many executives can afford to downshift because they've become financially independent through stock options, stock grants and bonuses.’
    • ‘‘I would like people to be able to carry on working and gradually downshift into full time retirement,’ he said yesterday.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After 15 years in the fastest lane, he downshifted to a slower one, surfing with single-minded devotion and opening his shop.’
    • ‘Surprisingly, even the under 35s have had enough of stressful living with 1.3 million them hoping to downshift in the next decade.’
    • ‘Living better on less money, downshifting and redefining ideas about ambition, success and happiness are some of the subjects covered.’
    • ‘The decision to downshift from a stress-filled job with long hours and demanding targets is rarely an easy one.’
    • ‘A former assistant secretary in the department of industry, Frithiofson has downshifted to ferrying tourists around the islands and taking them on fishing trips.’
    • ‘With only ten days left in office, the Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope, is preparing to downshift on January 15, moving to Ilkley to become parish priest there.’
    • ‘We want to be able to downshift to the point where we can then have the freedom to choose how we're going to sustain ourselves and not be dependent on, you know, on anybody or any kind of income at that point.’
    • ‘It is all part of the grand plan to sell Avon Cottage in four years time, clear our debts and downshift to Italy.’
    • ‘I find the biggest problem people have is deciding what to do for a living after downshifting.’
    1. 1.1Slow down; slacken off.
      ‘well before the country slipped into recession, business was downshifting’
      • ‘If growth downshifts to a 3-4% rate, will the job-killing recovery return?’
      • ‘On the whole, people go on holiday to downshift, to go back a few centuries and to get away from commerce and industry.’
      • ‘‘Everybody downshifts when things look to slow down or just look dodgy,’ she says.’
      • ‘In China, virtually everything will turn on the ability of the central leadership to downshift the economy without stalling it, " he said.’
      • ‘Everyone has to add value, to move, to upsize or downshift.’
      • ‘Some decided to downshift and take cycling less seriously once they became pregnant and had their babies.’
  • 2North American Change to a lower gear in a motor vehicle or bicycle.

    ‘an inertia system that activates whenever the rider brakes or downshifts’
    • ‘There's still room for error when shifting gears, use them when they downshift - especially when coming into the pits-and when starting from complete stops.’
    • ‘She was coming off the track now, not bothering to downshift; he heard the gears whine into neutral, and recognized the sound of aging synchromesh.’
    • ‘He tries to downshift, but he's already in his 25.’
    • ‘She had nothing better to do, she thought as she downshifted and zipped around a little Toyota convertible.’
    • ‘Going downhill the Ford took a little more pressure on the brake pedal to downshift than did the Chevy with the Allison Automatic transmission.’
    • ‘It also works for travelling down grades, holding a gear and/or downshifting when the brake is tapped.’
    • ‘I downshifted into first, and goosed the throttle.’
    • ‘If Nash and Nowitzki excel when the Mavs are in high gear, then Finley works best when the team downshifts to second.’
    • ‘In tight corners you can downshift with just a quick blip of the throttle.’
    • ‘But the S6 taught me new joys of turning in on the brakes and downshifting without moving my hands.’
    • ‘In automatic mode it will sense via accelerometers when to retain a low gear and when to downshift.’
    • ‘Then, when you are out on a fast, open road you find the engine runs out of puff on hills so you have to downshift and rev it to oblivion.’
    • ‘But a parts failure in the opening round caused his car to abruptly downshift from 2nd gear, giving way to Steve to score.’
    • ‘I let go of the pedal, and slowly began to downshift and tap the brake.’
    • ‘‘It's go time,’ I thought to myself, as I downshifted back down to fourth gear, matched my revs and punched the throttle.’
    • ‘Taking on hairpin turns, drivers downshift from seventh gear to first within seconds, putting transmissions under strains that have spelled ruin for many a team's hopes for victory.’
    • ‘The new SMG gearbox also offers safety benefits when downshifting on slippery surfaces.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For safety's sake it will downshift to first if you forget to do it before pulling away from rest.’
    • ‘On 11, you have to brake hard and downshift all the way to first gear - it's a hairpin, right-hand turn.’


  • 1An instance of changing to a less pressured and less highly paid but more fulfilling career or lifestyle.

    ‘this downshift coincides with his marriage’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1A change in quality or quantity to a lesser or lower degree.
      ‘the downshift of human position from the centre of the cosmos’
      • ‘A slowdown in technology spending following the Internet bubble-burst in 2000 contributed greatly to the downshift in the economy, which in turn led to a significant decrease in business travel.’
      • ‘But the second-quarter dip in growth far overstates the downshift.’
      • ‘In ‘Nijisseiki’, propylene-treated fruit exhibited a downshift of UA in the water-soluble fraction but non-treated fruit did not.’
      • ‘The more disturbing trend, however, was the downshift in capital spending.’
      • ‘The body burns fat more effectively with small incremental downshifts in calories.’
      • ‘But one of the many questions begged by this increasingly commonplace downshift in ratings outlook across the board is how much of this may be due to changes in assessment by the agencies themselves.’
      • ‘This near-critical behavior is relevant for balanced growth of Escherichia coli cells in media that lack amino acids and for adaptation of E. coli cells after downshifts from amino-acid-containing to amino-acid-lacking growth media.’
      • ‘Given the undercounted slack in the labor market and the structural downshift in hiring, a jobless rate at around 4.5% looks to be a 2006 goal.’
      • ‘That's why this plan focuses on a gradual downshift in calories (over the first three weeks) until you hit weight-loss mode (which will happen for most women in the fourth week of our diet plan).’
      • ‘What's critical is whether this slowdown is symptomatic of a permanent downshift.’
      • ‘This was manifested as a decrease in the transition enthalpy and a downshift in the transition temperature of the main phase transition and the pretransition, as well as a concomitant broadening of both transitions.’
      • ‘After downshift to 20°, 100% of the nuclei underwent mitotic division and then arrested with aberrantly shaped nuclei.’
      • ‘Alternatively, the Fe-CN bond may only be weakened in an electronically excited state, possibly of (d, d) character, leading to a downshift of the C = N stretch frequency.’
      • ‘Temperature downshift from 30° to 15° before death permitted nearly all of them to develop to fertile adults.’
      • ‘These effects are most pronounced for gel-like bilayer structures and support the observed downshift in the phase-transition temperature.’
      • ‘Simply put, we are most impacted by economic downshifts, changes in the job market, and reversals in federal funding allocations.’
      • ‘On the other hand, if the Chl d formyl C = O is H-bonded then larger 2 H-induced downshifts could be expected.’
      • ‘The downshift hits workers of color particularly hard.’
      • ‘Separately, a New York Fed paper suggested that there has been a downshift in the volatility of the business cycle.’
      • ‘A downshift in the quality of acting also has something to do with this.’
  • 2North American A change to a lower gear in a motor vehicle or bicycle.

    ‘the chain broke during a downshift on a single-track climb’
    • ‘We did a good job and the car worked well apart from a slight problem with the downshift, which cost me a little bit of time.’
    • ‘Like the V8 it mates to a five-speed automatic with adaptive shift control and a manual mode that matches engine revs on downshifts.’
    • ‘The peak torque of 200Nm occurs at 1500 rpm, and it will pull cleanly from 1200 rpm or so, whereas the PSA HDi unit would hunt and demand a downshift.’
    • ‘Depending on the vibrational motion, it could be either an upshift or a downshift.’
    • ‘Unlike traditional transmissions, the 7-speed will skip up to three gear ratios if necessary during downshifts, providing quick, smooth acceleration.’
    • ‘In tow haul mode it will even perform multiple downshifts for controlled deceleration, all of which tested well on the loaded trucks we tried.’
    • ‘These gearboxes are a lot different, and I probably didn't do a complete downshift.’
    • ‘Perhaps an electronic ‘blip’ of the throttle on the downshift would have helped.’
    • ‘You can flick up and down the box with a flex of the fingers, the downshifts including a perfectly-timed throttle blip.’
    • ‘Acceleration for this vehicle is found to be ample despite occasional transmission delays in full-throttle downshifts.’
    • ‘Even if it did produce lovely vroom-vroom noises on downshifts.’
    • ‘This is a slightly detuned, more refined version of the 147/156 GTA motor, and its easy, creamy power delivery lets you amble at low speeds without demanding a downshift if the traffic suddenly vanishes.’
    • ‘Best of all, the engine revs joyously through downshifts, providing a great exhaust note while telling the world this isn't your average TT.’
    • ‘We tested it at VIR and, again it's so easy to shift, but I think that's part of the problem is that the thing is so easy to shift that maybe you're over-confident and you're not matching the revs on the downshift.’
    • ‘On the up shift, you lift (off the gas) and shift; on the downshift, you blip and shift.’
    • ‘For example, if the system detects a drop in vehicle speed prior to entering a turn or a lane change, up to two downshifts can occur to provide the driver with maximum engine response.’
    • ‘They had recently taken some fuel out to reduce the two foot long gobs of flame exiting the exhausts on each downshift, introducing some kangaroo factor at pit exit speed.’
    • ‘In this mode, the vehicle senses when increased engine braking is required and automatically schedules a downshift.’
    • ‘Although the motor blipped perfectly under load such as when doing a heel and toe downshift, blipping the throttle at idle often produced a big hole in response before the motor picked up.’
    • ‘These changes mean downshifts and upshifts: If you have a loss of principles in practice, your society will decay.’