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

Per a Padres official, MLB upheld the error ruling. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Padres thoughts: On Green; Machado ejection; team appeal for Myers," 18 June 2019 A week after the West Virginia Supreme Court unanimously upheld the property rights of landowners battling one natural gas giant, the same court tossed out a challenge filed by another group of landowners against a different natural gas company. Ken Ward Jr., ProPublica, "Fracking Companies Lost on Trespassing, but a Court Just Gave Them a Different Win," 12 June 2019 The discussion is partly in response to a March decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a Santa Monica law that makes home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway liable for unlicensed rentals. Hillary Davis, latimes.com, "Newport Beach City Council to ponder tighter regulations on vacation rentals advertised by Airbnb and similar sites," 7 June 2019 The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision in 2016. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al.com, "Former Alabama state trooper convicted - again - in the brutal 1995 killing of his wife," 7 June 2019 An appeals court Wednesday upheld the conviction for former Lake County Sheriff John Buncich. Craig Lyons, Post-Tribune, "Appeals court upholds former Lake County Sheriff Buncich's bribery, fraud convictions," 6 June 2019 The majority at the Constitutional Convention upheld this view on matters ranging from the privileges and immunities clause to the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade. Nicholas Guyatt, The New York Review of Books, "‘No Property in Man’: An Exchange," 6 June 2019 But the Council must uphold the law, and hasn’t done any major overhauls in years to modernize its regulations. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "A Push to Protect Political Campaigns from Hackers Hits a Snag," 5 June 2019 Five justices — a majority — who upheld the law in 2012 are still on the bench. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, The Seattle Times, "Dems cry foul as Trump calls for striking down ‘Obamacare’," 27 Mar. 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

22 Jun 2019

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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).


having a desire to acquire more things

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