from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- intransitive v. To shift a motor vehicle into a lower gear.
- intransitive v. To reduce the speed, rate, or intensity of something.
- intransitive v. 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).
- transitive v. To shift (a motor vehicle) into a lower gear.
- transitive v. To reduce in speed, rate, or intensity: "The president is downshifting his confrontational rhetoric and reaffirming his readiness to talk arms control” ( Newsweek).
- transitive v. To simplify or reduce one's commitments in (one's life).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To shift a transmission into a lower gear.
- v. To function at a lower rate.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a change to a lower gear in a car or bicycle
- n. a change from a financially rewarding but stressful career to a less well paid but more fulfilling one
From down + shift (Wiktionary)