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

But the Missouri legislature soon invalidated the local wage ordinance following opposition from business groups, despite the state Supreme Court having already upheld the increase. Washington Post, "Why nearly 350,000 workers in mostly red states aren’t seeing wage increases, even though their local lawmakers passed them," 3 July 2019 In a ruling issued Friday, the state’s First District Appeals Court upheld Vickers’ murder conviction, but directed the case to go back to Judge Nancy Stark for a potential lower sentence. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "Appeals court upholds murder in Antioch recording studio, but defendant may get lighter sentence," 2 July 2019 And instead of upholding the doctrine outright, Kagan’s majority opinion added a five-part test that will give judges more room to scrutinize those regulations. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court Steps to the Right," 1 July 2019 Fresh off upholding the Bladensburg Cross, the Supreme Court has taken another case with even more at stake for religious liberty. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Church, School and the Supreme Court," 30 June 2019 Brewers benefit from challenge: The Pirates challenged a safe call at second base with Keston Hiura in the sixth inning and rued doing so after the call was upheld. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 3, Pirates 1: Brandon Woodruff becomes the first 10-game winner in National League," 29 June 2019 Four years ago, the archdiocese began requiring archdiocesan schools to include a requirement that teachers, counselors and administrators uphold church teachings both at and away from school. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Archbishop says Indianapolis Archdiocese is not on a 'witch hunt' for gay teachers," 28 June 2019 Bevin also had praised the original appeals court ruling upholding the law. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky law requiring ultrasounds before abortions will stand, federal appeals court says," 28 June 2019 In listening and sharing their stories, the group was clear in emphasizing the necessity of upholding a collective history and championing intersectionality. Wilder Davies, Time, "Stonewall-Era Activists and Queer Millennials Discuss the State of the LGBTQ Community, Then and Now," 28 June 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

6 Jul 2019

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 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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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