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

The court must decide whether to overturn an April 2017 ruling by the Fourth District Court of Appeal that upheld the pension cuts. David Garrick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "If state Supreme Court rules against San Diego on pensions, it could could cost city millions," 14 July 2018 To be indigenous is to confront the immense challenge and responsibility of upholding that legacy amid a larger, dominant society that can be, at best, foreign, and at worst, openly hostile. Rory Taylor, Teen Vogue, "The Current Border Crisis Feels All Too Familiar for Indigenous Peoples in the United States," 12 July 2018 In May of 2017, Kavanaugh argued that net neutrality violates internet service providers' First Amendment rights in a dissent to a DC Circuit Court decision regarding the Federal Communication Commission's 2015 order, upholding net neutrality. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court Could Spell Trouble for Tech," 10 July 2018 California is still trying to hammer out a bill to preserve aspects of net neutrality, while Washington State has upheld major tenets of the policy. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's Potential Supreme Court Nominee, Is No Friend to Net Neutrality," 10 July 2018 The Florida Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said the tour, in response to the recent Supreme Court ruling that upheld the Trump administration’s Muslim travel ban, will kick off on July 16 in Sunrise. Lisa Cianci, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Florida Muslim civil rights group launches 'know your rights' tour," 6 July 2018 With Julian Edelman's four-game suspension upheld on Tuesday, Rachel Bowers figured out what exactly the Patriots will be missing for the first month of the season. Jacob Feldman, SI.com, "Reuben Foster Headlines the NFL's Week in Suspensions," 6 July 2018 This was a departure for Kennedy, who had previously shied away from upholding affirmative action programs against constitutional challenges. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "The Era of Affirmative Action May Not Last Much Longer," 3 July 2018 Far more lawmaking is therefore done by the Supreme Court, through its decisions to overturn or uphold state laws or presidential decrees. The Economist, "Anthony Kennedy’s retirement comes at a worrying time," 30 June 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

14 Sep 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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