\ˈəp \

Definition of up 

(Entry 1 of 6)

1a(1) : in or into a higher position or level especially : away from the center of the earth

(2) : from beneath the ground or water to the surface

(3) : from below the horizon

(4) : upstream sense 1

(5) : in or into an upright position sit up especially : out of bed

b : upward from the ground or surface pull up a daisy

c : so as to expose a particular surface

2 : with greater intensity speak up

3a : in or into a better or more advanced state

b : at an end your time is up

c : in or into a state of greater intensity or excitement

d : to or at a greater speed, rate, or amount prices went up

e : in a continual sequence : in continuance from a point or to a point from third grade up at prices of $10 and up up until now

4a(1) : into existence, evidence, prominence, or prevalence

(2) : into operation or practical form

b : into consideration or attention bring up for discussion

5 : into possession or custody

6a : entirely, completely button up your coat

b used as an intensifier clean up the house

7 : in or into storage : by lay up supplies

8a : so as to arrive or approach

b : in a direction conventionally the opposite of down:

(1) : to windward

(2) : northward

(3) : to or at the top

(4) : to or at the rear of a theatrical stage

9 : in or into parts

10 : to a stop usually used with draw, bring, fetch, or pull

11 : for each side the score is 15 up

Definition of up (Entry 2 of 6)

1a : risen above the horizon the sun is up

b : standing

c : being out of bed

d : relatively high the river is up was well up in her class

e : being in a raised position : lifted windows are up

f : being in a state of completion : constructed, built

g : having the face upward

h : mounted on a horse a new jockey up

i : grown above a surface the corn is up

j(1) : moving, inclining, or directed upward the up escalator

(2) : bound in a direction regarded as up

2a(1) : marked by agitation, excitement, or activity

(2) : positive or upbeat in mood or demeanor

b : being above a former or normal level (as of quantity or intensity) attendance is up the wind is up

c : exerting enough power (as for operation) sail when steam is up

d : ready specifically : highly prepared

e : going on : taking place find out what is up

3a : risen from a lower position men up from the ranks

b : being at the same level or point did not feel up to par

c(1) : well informed : abreast up on the news

(2) : being on schedule up on his homework

d : being ahead of one's opponent

4a : presented for or undergoing consideration contract up for negotiation also : charged before a court up for robbery

b : being the one whose turn it is you're up next

up against

: confronted with : face-to-face with the problem we are up against

up to

1 : capable of performing or dealing with feels up to the task

2 : engaged in what is he up to

3 : being the responsibility of it's up to me

Definition of up (Entry 3 of 6)

1a used as a function word to indicate motion to or toward or situation at a higher point of went up the stairs

b : up into or in the was hid away up garret— Mark Twain

2a : in a direction regarded as being toward or near the upper end or part of lives a few miles up the coast walked up the street

b : toward or near a point closer to the source or beginning of sail up the river

3 : in the direction opposite to sailed up the wind



Definition of up (Entry 4 of 6)

1 : one in a high or advantageous position

2 : an upward slope

3 : a period or state of prosperity or success

5 : a fundamental quark that has an electric charge of +2/3 and that is one of the constituents of a nucleon


upped\ ˈəpt \ or in intransitive verb sense 2 up; upped; upping; ups or in intransitive verb sense 2 up

Definition of up (Entry 5 of 6)

intransitive verb

1a : to rise from a lying or sitting position

b : to move upward : ascend

2 used with and and another verb to indicate that the action of the following verb was either surprisingly or abruptly initiated he up and quit his job

transitive verb

1 : raise, lift

2a : to advance to a higher level:

(1) : increase

(2) : promote sense 1a

b : raise sense 8d

Definition of UP (Entry 6 of 6)

Upper Peninsula (of Michigan)

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Examples of up in a Sentence


The land rises up from the valley. She stood beneath the window and called up to her friend. Please pick your clothes up off the floor. We watched the sun come up. He held up his hand. We stored the boxes up in the attic. She stuck a notice up on the wall. What's going on up there? He looked up at the stars. The cards were on the table facing up.


The candy is up on the top shelf. The window is already up. Your package is up at the front desk. We were up near the stage. Are the kids up yet? We are up every morning at six. I was up all night studying for the test. Gas prices are up again.


He climbed up the ladder. She had to walk her bike up the hill. The bathroom is up the stairs. Go up the street and turn left. We walked up the street to meet them. They live just up the block from us. I paddled the canoe up the river. The ship sailed up the coast. Her office is all the way up the hall on the right. He paced up and down the hall, waiting for news about his wife's operation.


climbing fuel prices have forced the delivery company to up its prices the road constantly ups and downs as it makes its way over the hills
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Allowing young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ health plans is unquestionably one of the most popular ACA provisions. Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News, "5 Outside-The-Box Ideas For Fixing The Individual Insurance Market," 30 Aug. 2017 Prices appear to be up more significantly in Harford than elsewhere in Maryland. Erika Butler, The Aegis, "Donation drive planned in Bel Air Wednesday to aid Harvey victims," 29 Aug. 2017 The two remained close over the years, up until Ford’s death in 2016. Yohana Desta, HWD, "Martin Lawrence on the 25th Anniversary of Martin: “It’s Impacted the Culture”," 27 Aug. 2017 Thrust your hips forward, pulling the dumbbell straight up, and extend your arm at the top while dipping from the hips and knees. Jay Willis, GQ, "The Key to Running a Faster Marathon Is Getting Strong as Hell," 27 Aug. 2017 Hollister reported its third straight quarter of positive comparative store sales Thursday, up 5 percent from the same period the year prior. Megan Hess, Bloomberg.com, "Your Evening Briefing," 25 Aug. 2017 The median sales price was $165,000, up 2.5 percent from the $161,000 median price tag during the same month last year and a 1.9 percent increase from the $162,000 posted in June. Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune, "NWI housing prices rise in July," 25 Aug. 2017 Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition supports up to 8K resolution, Dolby Atmos sound, and a laundry list of Nvidia's GameWorks enhancements. Mark Walton, Ars Technica, "Final Fantasy 15 on PC: Has Square Enix lost its way, or do graphics really matter?," 25 Aug. 2017 Gustin is seeking to fill one of two board seats that are up for election next year. Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, "Councilwoman Patty Gustin running for DuPage County Board," 22 Aug. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Greitens, an up-and-comer in the GOP political scene on account of his background as a Navy SEAL and Rhodes Scholar, had aspirations for the White House. Steve Vockrodt, Bryan Lowry And Allison Kite, kansascity, "Baker declines to charge Greitens despite 'probable cause' for sexual assault," 8 June 2018 But what the up-and-coming electronic producer is really excited about is coming home. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "From EDM-loving Milwaukee kid to Atlantic Records deal, Melvv is living the dream," 3 May 2018 Kentucky high school students who joined the Future Business Leaders of America club probably weren’t expecting an up-close lesson in financial crimes. Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Teacher helped lead Future Business Leaders of America. He stole $52,000 from them, Ohio cops say," 19 June 2018 Visitors to the OC Fair & Event Center were able to clamber on and through the wheeled displays, get an up-close look at their inner workings and meet the drivers who bring the massive machines to life. Daily Pilot Staff, latimes.com, "Kids go on Truck Adventures at O.C. fairgrounds," 16 June 2018 Meanwhile, the Sixers were interested in getting an up-close look at Bruce Brown following his injury. Keith Pompey, Philly.com, "Jevon Carter, Bruce Brown Jr. take different routes to NBA draft," 13 June 2018 The England youngster may be getting an up-close view of the two superstars in Russia. CNN, "'Messi is the greatest ever,' says Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford," 7 June 2018 Experience history, a little slice of Italy with vineyard tours, and get an up-close view of sheep, cattle and chicken operations. Melissa Reinert, Cincinnati.com, "NKY shows off its agricultural side: Guide to the farm tours," 7 June 2018 Aviation enthusiasts and those just curious about vintage aircrafts can get an up-close look, and even a ride, in a Ford Tri-Motor, the model plane credited for helping start the commercial airline industry. Littice Bacon-blood, NOLA.com, "Looking for a thrill? How about a ride in a vintage plane?," 24 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'up.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of up


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1509, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1536, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1643, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for up


partly from Middle English up upward, from Old English ūp; partly from Middle English uppe on high, from Old English; both akin to Old High German ūf up and probably to Latin sub under, Greek hypo under, hyper over — more at over

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Time Traveler for up

The first known use of up was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for up



English Language Learners Definition of up

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: from a lower to a higher place or position

: in a high position or place

: toward the sky or ceiling

English Language Learners Definition of up (Entry 2 of 4)

: in a high place or position

: raised so as to be opened

: risen above the horizon



English Language Learners Definition of up (Entry 3 of 4)

: a period or state of success, happiness, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of up (Entry 4 of 4)

: to make (something) higher


\ˈəp \

Kids Definition of up

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : in or to a high or higher place or position She put her hand up.

2 : in or into a vertical position Stand up.

3 : from beneath a surface (as ground or water) Come up for air.

4 : with greater force or to a greater level Speak up. Turn the heat up.

5 : so as to make more active Stir up the fire.

6 : so as to appear or be present The missing ring turned up.

7 : completely Use it up.

8 : so as to approach or be near He walked up and said “hello.”

9 : from below the horizon The sun came up.

10 : out of bed What time did you get up?

11 : in or into a better or more advanced state He worked his way up in the company. She grew up on a farm.

12 : for consideration or discussion I brought up the issue.

13 : into the control of another I gave myself up.

14 used to show completeness Fill up the gas tank.

15 : so as to be closed Seal up the package.

16 : in or into pieces The puppy tore it up.

17 : to a stop Pull up at the curb.

18 : into a working or usable state I set up the computer.

Kids Definition of up (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : risen above the horizon or ground The sun is up.

2 : being out of bed

3 : unusually high Gas prices are up.

4 : having been raised or built The windows are up. The house is up.

5 : moving or going upward an up elevator

6 : being busy and moving about He likes to be up and doing things.

7 : well prepared Are you up for this challenge?

8 : happy or excited The team was up after their win.

9 : going on Find out what's up.

10 : at an end Time is up.

11 : well informed I'm not up on the latest news.

12 : functioning correctly The computer system is up.

Kids Definition of up (Entry 3 of 5)

1 : to, toward, or at a higher point of He climbed up a ladder.

2 : to or toward the beginning of We paddled up a river.

3 : along entry 1 sense 1 Let's walk up the street.

up to

1 : as far as We found ourselves in mud up to our ankles.

2 : in accordance with The game was not up to our standards.

3 : to the limit of The car holds up to six people.



Kids Definition of up (Entry 4 of 5)

: a period or state of doing well You've had your ups and downs.


upped; upping

Kids Definition of up (Entry 5 of 5)

1 : to act suddenly or surprisingly The teenager upped and left home.

2 : to make or become higher Coffee producers upped prices.

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Comments on up

What made you want to look up up? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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