up·​hold | \ (ˌ)əp-ˈhōld How to pronounce uphold (audio) \
upheld\ (ˌ)əp-​ˈheld How to pronounce upheld (audio) \; upholding

Definition of uphold

transitive verb

1a : to give support to
b : to support against an opponent
2a : to keep elevated
b : to lift up

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Other Words from uphold

upholder noun

Choose the Right Synonym for uphold

support, uphold, advocate, back, champion mean to favor actively one that meets opposition. support is least explicit about the nature of the assistance given. supports waterfront development uphold implies extended support given to something attacked. upheld the legitimacy of the military action advocate stresses urging or pleading. advocated prison reform back suggests supporting by lending assistance to one failing or falling. refusing to back the call for sanctions champion suggests publicly defending one unjustly attacked or too weak to advocate his or her own cause. championed the rights of children

Examples of uphold in a Sentence

He took an oath to uphold the Constitution. They have a responsibility to uphold the law. The Court of Appeals upheld his conviction.
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Recent Examples on the Web The committee did not discuss last week’s ruling upholding the law. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Alabama Committee on Monument Protection holds 2nd ever meeting," 3 Dec. 2019 Two lower courts rejected their claims and upheld the law. Pete Williams, NBC News, "Supreme Court appears unlikely to hand victory to gun rights backers in 2nd Amendment case," 2 Dec. 2019 Coach John Harbaugh challenged for defensive pass interference, just his second pass interference challenge this season, but officials upheld the call on the field. Daniel Oyefusi, baltimoresun.com, "Pass interference debate continues in Ravens-49ers matchup, as another replay challenge fails," 1 Dec. 2019 The Court of Appeals disagreed with some of the technical aspects of the lower courts’ reasoning, but upheld their overall judgement and ruling for Taneytown over Frazier. Jon Kelvey, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Maryland’s top court upholds decisions in favor of Taneytown in Open Meetings Act lawsuit," 21 Nov. 2019 James Thrash, a former player, upheld the indefinite suspension, the NFL said in a statement. Justin Carissimo, CBS News, "NFL upholds Myles Garrett's indefinite suspension for attack on Mason Rudolph," 21 Nov. 2019 While acknowledging the mistakes, the newspaper did not retract the series, and its review upheld the conclusion that oxycodone was involved in a large number of the overdoses in Florida. David Armstrong, ProPublica, "Inside Purdue Pharma’s Media Playbook: How It Planted the Opioid “Anti-Story”," 19 Nov. 2019 The police union sued, but in May 2017 a federal appeals court upheld the requirement. Jesse Garza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mayoral challenger Lena Taylor blasts Tom Barrett over public employee residency issue; Barrett campaign calls criticism 'absurd'," 15 Nov. 2019 Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, had previously refused to accept the results of a referendum upholding term limits for the president. Fox News, "Police join protesters, abandon their posts outside Bolivia's presidential palace," 10 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'uphold.' 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 uphold

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for uphold

Time Traveler

The first known use of uphold was in the 13th century

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Statistics for uphold

Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Uphold.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upheld. Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for uphold


How to pronounce uphold (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of uphold

: to support or defend (something, such as a law)
: to judge (a legal decision) to be correct : to decide not to change (a verdict)


up·​hold | \ ˌəp-ˈhōld How to pronounce uphold (audio) \
upheld\ -​ˈheld \; upholding

Kids Definition of uphold

1 : to give support to Judges swear to uphold the Constitution.
2 : to lift up
upheld; upholding

Legal Definition of uphold

: to judge valid : let stand uphold an award specifically : to hold constitutional uphold the practice of having religious invocations and benedictions at high school graduation ceremoniesSands v. Morongo Unified Sch. Dist., 809 P.2d 809 (1991)(dissent) uphold a statute

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More from Merriam-Webster on uphold

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for uphold

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with uphold

Spanish Central: Translation of uphold

Nglish: Translation of uphold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of uphold for Arabic Speakers

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