down +‎ shift


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downshift (third-person singular simple present downshifts, present participle downshifting, simple past and past participle downshifted)

  1. (automotive) To shift a transmission into a lower gear.
    Antonym: upshift
  2. To function at a lower rate.
  3. To make less controversial or risky.
    • 2019 August 14, A. A. Dowd, “Good Boys puts a tween spin on the R-rated teen comedy, to mostly funny effect”, in The A.V. Club[1]:
      in this variation on Superbad’s wild night of transgression, downshifting the age of the protagonists from teen to tween actually only enhances the stealth, wide-eyed innocence that secretly drives this genre of pre-college hedonism.