up·​keep ˈəp-ˌkēp How to pronounce upkeep (audio)
: the act of maintaining in good condition : the state of being maintained in good condition
: the cost of maintaining in good condition

Examples of upkeep in a Sentence

Who is responsible for the upkeep of these buildings? Once your car gets that old, the cost of upkeep can get very expensive. The yard requires very little upkeep. We sold our horse because we could no longer afford its upkeep.
Recent Examples on the Web Find it on Amazon An Artificial Tree to Fill that Awkward Corner This Large Floor Plant has 69 realistic leaves and a detailed trunk that looks real but doesn’t require taxing upkeep. Micaela Arnett, Rolling Stone, 16 Feb. 2024 These bed frames offer a cozy feel but may require more upkeep to prevent them from getting dusty. Erica Reagle, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 Feb. 2024 There is an upkeep expense and a security force, considered essential to public good. Reader Commentary, Baltimore Sun, 9 Jan. 2024 About 45%, or $440 million, of this year’s proposal is dedicated to upkeep projects aimed at preserving existing state infrastructure, with more than $200 million going toward repairs and renovations at public universities and colleges. Alex Derosier, Twin Cities, 16 Jan. 2024 Say goodbye to constant wiping and hello to hassle-free kitchen upkeep. Priscilla Mak, Rolling Stone, 7 Dec. 2023 Much of the work done on the ship has centered on keeping it safe for visitors, as well as regular upkeep like painting, new flooring and lighting, and replacing new boilers and electrical transformers on the ship. Salvador Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, 4 Jan. 2024 Water Features Outdoor water features, such as ponds and fountains, are sometimes a deal breaker for new owners who don’t want the expense or upkeep. Kristine Gill, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Dec. 2023 The house always needed upkeep, and for a while Nimmo’s uncle Tommy had been in charge. Curbed, 23 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'upkeep.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1884, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of upkeep was in 1884

Dictionary Entries Near upkeep

Cite this Entry

“Upkeep.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upkeep. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


up·​keep ˈəp-ˌkēp How to pronounce upkeep (audio)
: the act or cost of maintaining in good condition : maintenance

More from Merriam-Webster on upkeep

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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