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 However, we are charged with upholding the Constitution and federal statutory protections for civil rights. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "DOJ warns California that re-opening could 'discriminate' against religious groups," 20 May 2020 Any serious effort to reverse the upward redistribution of wealth and income also needs to focus on the financial industry’s role in upholding the present unjust system of top-heavy distribution. Dean Baker, The New Republic, "Building an Economy That Works Again," 14 May 2020 In it, Towey talks about how Rooney upholds Mother Teresa's values. Crystal Hill, Indianapolis Star, "'I was wrong': Mother Teresa lawyer addresses 2016 ad in dust-up with Indiana campaign," 30 Apr. 2020 The president has broad authority to restrict entry into the United States - a point the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed in upholding his controversial travel ban in 2018 - and that power is perhaps no greater than during a public health emergency. Author: Nick Miroff, Maria Sacchetti, Tracy Jan, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump suspends U.S. immigration for 60 days, citing coronavirus crisis and jobs shortage," 21 Apr. 2020 Blanchett is totally in command as Schlafly, a woman committed to upholding a circa-‘50s white person image of family perfection, even as reality proves more complicated. oregonlive, "‘Mrs. America’: Cate Blanchett stars in a disturbingly relevant drama about 1970s culture wars," 7 Apr. 2020 These policies would establish standards and procedures to uphold the principle that the scientific process at federal agencies should be free from politics, ideology and financial conflicts of interest. Chuck Hagel, Scientific American, "We Must Stop the Executive Branch from Suppressing Science," 18 Dec. 2019 Beshear said Wednesday the new ban is similar to the state of Ohio's travel prohibition, which has been upheld by the courts. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "Gov. Andy Beshear issues new travel ban with 'tweaks' after previous one struck down," 6 May 2020 The fine was upheld in Superior Court and appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "State campaign watchdog accuses group that supported Anchorage alcohol tax of breaking the law," 5 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for uphold

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for uphold

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Uphold.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uphold. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for uphold


How to pronounce uphold (audio)

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 ceremoniesSands v. Morongo Unified Sch. Dist., 809 P.2d 809 (1991)(dissent) uphold a statute

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More from Merriam-Webster on uphold

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for uphold

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with uphold

Spanish Central: Translation of uphold

Nglish: Translation of uphold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of uphold for Arabic Speakers

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