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 court’s three liberal justices are almost certain to vote to uphold the law in its entirety and presumably would form a majority by joining a decision that cut away only the mandate, which now has no financial penalty attached to it. Mark Sherman, Anchorage Daily News, "Supreme Court hears arguments on Affordable Care Act, seems likely to let it stand," 10 Nov. 2020 The Supreme Court appeared likely Tuesday to uphold the Affordable Care Act for the third time in eight years, even with the Trump administration urging its elimination before an emboldened conservative majority on the nation's highest court. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court appears unlikely to topple Affordable Care Act in latest challenge by Republicans," 10 Nov. 2020 Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote two earlier opinions preserving the law, stated similar views, and the court’s three liberal justices are almost certain to vote to uphold the law in its entirety. Mark Sherman, chicagotribune.com, "Supreme Court appears likely to leave Obamacare in place after the individual mandate is repealed under Trump," 10 Nov. 2020 The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to uphold the law in 2012 when Chief Justice John Roberts construed the penalty as a tax that Congress had the power to levy. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "Affordable Care Act challenge before Supreme Court could strip insurance from millions," 9 Nov. 2020 The researchers looked in particular at each party's willingness to uphold democratic norms and guard the democratic process -- since Luehrmann said that's where the real danger lies. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "US Republicans are starting to look a lot like authoritarian parties in Hungary and Turkey, study finds," 26 Oct. 2020 In August last year, India revoked Articles 370 and 35A, laws that gave Jammu & Kashmir special status, and the ability to uphold its own constitution. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "Any US president would take India’s side over Kashmir," 16 Oct. 2020 Trump has failed to uphold many promises through his own malpractice, but rescuing dying industries isn’t among them. Joe Nocera Bloomberg Opinion (tns), Star Tribune, "Trump didn't save coal or steel. To be fair, no one could.," 13 Oct. 2020 The Supreme Court declined to review the case, opting instead to uphold a March ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco in favor of the legendary rock group's founders, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, who composed the track in 1971. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "Case closed: Led Zeppelin victorious in 'Stairway to Heaven' copyright dispute," 5 Oct. 2020

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

18 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Uphold.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uphold. Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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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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