up·​hold | \ (ˌ)əp-ˈhōld How to pronounce uphold (audio) \
upheld\ (ˌ)əp-​ˈheld How to pronounce uphold (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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web An uncomfortable truth is that respect for the press wasn't foundational for some sworn to uphold the law — including the First Amendment — in a state that should shine the light Nelson describes. John Rash, Star Tribune, "Minnesota should be America's 'Nordic model' on press freedom," 23 Apr. 2021 As a result, even health professionals who disagreed with the policy felt compelled to uphold it. Los Angeles Times, "International court could press El Salvador to change abortion ban," 17 Apr. 2021 Religion cannot be true which needs such instruments of violence to uphold it so. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "Religious Persecution Abroad Reminds Us Why Religious Liberty Matters," 20 Mar. 2021 Meanwhile, advocacy groups on the left have mounted a full-scale effort to convince the Supreme Court to uphold the law a third time. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Ten years after passage, Affordable Care Act seems likely to survive latest Supreme Court challenge," 8 Nov. 2020 These are good men and women who uphold their oaths. Safid Deen, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins’ Chris Grier, one of five Black NFL GMs, shares relief, sadness following Chauvin verdict," 21 Apr. 2021 If the justices uphold the decision, TPS recipients would have to leave the country before applying for lawful permanent residency – with no guarantee of being accepted. Editors, USA TODAY, "Austin and Kenosha shootings, Chauvin trial, NASA: 5 things to know Monday," 19 Apr. 2021 But many legal experts expect the court to once again uphold the law. John Harwood, CNN, "Biden strengthens Obama's legacy while seeking his own," 11 Apr. 2021 Remember your innate equality, represent your truest self, and uphold your boundaries. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for April 7, 2021: Leo, change comes with pushback; Virgo, get a running start," 7 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of uphold

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about uphold

Time Traveler for uphold

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for uphold

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Uphold.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uphold. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!