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

There are dozens of big-money boosters to glad-hand, an ardent fan base to appease and a reputation to uphold. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "The Untold Story of the Desk of Texas's AD and an Unfinished Bottle of Jack Daniel's," 5 Sep. 2019 Throughout the Gospels, Christ is very clear that there is a right and there is a wrong, and those who fail to uphold his teachings will suffer. Jeffrey Peters, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Peters: It is the sinner’s responsibility to turn back to God," 30 Aug. 2019 These two states—the only ones to ever adopt this practice—are beseeching the court to uphold the status quo, and have filed briefs urging the court to abide by its usual rules of stare decisis, leaving precedents intact. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Jim Crow Returns to the Supreme Court," 28 Aug. 2019 Planned Parenthood also is asking the appeals panel to uphold sanctions the federal judge ordered against the Bevin administration. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "With future of Kentucky's abortion clinic at stake, battle shifts to federal appeals court," 8 Aug. 2019 In June, Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced a preemptive measure to uphold birth control accessibility across the board. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Is Over-the-Counter Birth Control Really a Good Idea?," 2 Aug. 2019 Despite persistent international condemnation and calls for his release, a Kyrgyz court that had reviewed his case in light of new legislation ruled to uphold his life sentence on July 30. 6. Wired Staff, WIRED, "One Free Press Coalition Spotlights Journalists Under Attack," 1 Aug. 2019 With all proceeds donated to charity, the bridge and festival itself is cited on the official website for the United Nations as a symbol of the core values -- dignity, respect, diversity, and solidarity -- the UN strives to uphold. Brittany Gaston, Billboard, "15 Years In, Tomorrowland Is a Spectacle of Both Massive Size and Thoughtful Detail," 23 July 2019 Growth Energy, one of the country's largest ethanol associations, is launching a 30-second television ad in Wisconsin and other states urging Trump to uphold ethanol mandates requiring oil refineries to mix ethanol into gasoline. Lawrence Andrea, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin in the middle of battle between ethanol producers and oil companies ahead of 2020," 23 July 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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Statistics for uphold

Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for uphold

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

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More Definitions for uphold



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 ceremonies Sands v. Morongo Unified Sch. Dist., 809 P.2d 809 (1991)(dissent) uphold a statute

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More from Merriam-Webster on uphold

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with uphold

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for uphold

Spanish Central: Translation of uphold

Nglish: Translation of uphold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of uphold for Arabic Speakers

Comments on uphold

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


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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