trade down

Idioms & Phrases

trade down

Exchange for something of lower value or price, as in They bought a smaller boat, trading down for the sake of economy. Similarly, trade up means "make an exchange for something of higher value or price," as in They traded up to a larger house. [First half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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