up·hold | \(ˌ)əp-ˈhōld \
upheld\(ˌ)əp-ˈheld \; 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

Fortunately for the rest of the world, the Montreal Protocol is legally binding, which means the U.N. could fine China for failing to uphold it. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Investigation Finds China Behind Ozone-Damaging Mystery," 9 July 2018 Barrett, a Catholic, is considered reliably socially conservative, and conservatives consider her as someone who will faithfully uphold principles of religious liberty from the bench. CBS News, "Judge Brett Kavanaugh named Trump's second Supreme Court justice - live updates," 9 July 2018 The Affordable Care Act looks secure for now, because the block that upheld it (Mr Roberts and the court’s four liberals) remains intact. The Economist, "A court with a solid conservative majority could reshape American life," 5 July 2018 During the term that ended Wednesday, Kennedy sided with Texas in a case upholding the state’s political maps, which a district court had said intentionally discriminated against voters of color. Abby Livingston And Emma Platoff, star-telegram, "Ted Cruz, John Cornyn likely to play big roles in picking Justice Anthony Kennedy's replacement," 27 June 2018 Years later, as World War II receded and the civil rights movement unfolded, that policy — and the Supreme Court ruling upholding it — became widely seen as wrong. Charlie Savage, New York Times, "Korematsu, Notorious Supreme Court Ruling on Japanese Internment, Is Finally Tossed Out," 26 June 2018 Princess Diana's uncle Lord Fermoy, even took to the press to uphold her good name. Kasandra Brabaw, refinery29.com, "So What's The Deal With Royals & Premarital Sex?," 16 May 2018 In 2007, Kavanaugh was among an 8-2 majority when the D.C. Circuit Court upheld a ruling that terminally ill patients had no constitutional right to access unapproved drugs. Lev Facher, STAT, "Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s pick for court, has left trail of opinions on health care and pharma issues," 10 July 2018 On net neutrality, Kavanaugh, sided with conservatives, dissenting when courts upheld Obama’s net-neutrality regulations. Katherine Nails, Philly.com, "Brett Kavanaugh: Fast facts about Trump's Supreme Court nominee," 9 July 2018

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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Phrases Related to uphold

uphold the decision

Statistics for uphold

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \
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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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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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