9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[doun-sahyz] /ˈdaʊnˌsaɪz/
verb (used with object), downsized, downsizing.
to design or manufacture a smaller version or type of:
The automotive industry downsized its cars for improved fuel economy.
to reduce in number; cut back.
Also, downsized. being of a smaller size or version:
a downsize car.
Origin of downsize
1970-75, Americanism; down1 + size1
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for downsizing
  • What began as downsizing went on to wholesale abandonment.
  • In today's climate of budget balancing and downsizing, any agency even holding its own is doing well.
  • It seems that during a labor shortage rising wages result in downsizing, offshoring, and other forms of restructuring.
  • Many would sell the home in time, using the money for retirement after downsizing.
  • And the loss will also keep the firm's downsizing on track.
  • Not only has income been falling, but job security has declined as corporate downsizing continues.
  • Although any bureaucracy can usually make do with fewer people, these cuts went far beyond reasonable downsizing.
  • Source-to-sink downsizing could bring many advantages in terms of energy efficiency and increased system resiliency.
  • There is a lot of anxiety in the land about downsizing, about workers becoming plug-and-play modules in corporate strategies.
  • It had been a storage facility for a local luxury-car dealership, which was downsizing.
British Dictionary definitions for downsizing


verb (transitive) -sizes, -sizing, -sized
to reduce the operating costs of a company by reducing the number of people it employs
to reduce the size of or produce a smaller version of (something)
to upgrade (a computer system) by replacing a mainframe or minicomputer with a network of microcomputers Compare rightsize
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for downsizing



1986 in reference to companies shedding jobs; earlier (1975) in reference to U.S. automakers building smaller cars and trucks (supposedly a coinage at General Motors), from down (adv.) + size (v.). Related: Downsized; downsizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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downsizing in Culture

downsize definition

To reduce in number, especially personnel: “The company decided to downsize half the workers in the aircraft division.” It can also be used in reference to objects: “I decided to downsize my wardrobe and threw out all my old T-shirts.”

Note: Downsize is a recent euphemism for “fire, lay off.” Company managers often use this term in an attempt to soften the blow of wide-scale layoffs.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for downsizing



To reduce the size of a company by eliminating employees, in order to increase profits (1980s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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downsizing in Technology

The process of moving an application program from a mainframe to a cheaper system, typically a client-server system.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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