Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
v. down·shift·ed, down·shift·ing, down·shifts
1. To shift a motor vehicle into a lower gear.
2. To reduce the speed, rate, or intensity of something.
3. To simplify or reduce one's expectations or commitments, especially in work hours: "28 percent said that they had downshifted and voluntarily cut back on their income in some way ... to reflect changes in priorities" (Carey Goldberg).
1. To shift (a motor vehicle) into a lower gear.
2. To reduce in speed, rate, or intensity: "The president is downshifting his confrontational rhetoric and reaffirming his readiness to talk arms control" (Newsweek).
3. To simplify or reduce one's commitments in (one's life).
(Sociology) the practice of simplifying one's lifestyle and becoming less materialistic