up·​keep | \ˈəp-ˌkēp \

Definition of upkeep 

1 : the act of maintaining in good condition : the state of being maintained in good condition

2 : the cost of maintaining in good condition

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In addition to the challenges of upkeep, modernist home preservation also runs into the problem of acquisition costs. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Rethinking the modern house museum," 12 Oct. 2018 Essentials’ ubiquity was helped by the upkeep of excellent documentation via a Wiki that could walk developers through game creation. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Nintendo shuts down the tool behind your favorite Pokémon fan games," 29 Aug. 2018 Ordinarily, that means a fair market rent, minus the cost of upkeep. Todd Wallack, BostonGlobe.com, "For some State Police, it’s a posting in paradise," 14 July 2018 The nonprofit organization previously owned the building but had sold it two years ago because of the financial burden of upkeep. Melissa Reinert, Cincinnati.com, "Newport thrift store closed, but St. Vincent de Paul presence remains," 29 June 2018 This year, according to Reuters, South Korea also paid about $857 million for the upkeep of U.S. troops under a 5-year bilateral cost sharing arrangement signed with the U.S. in 2014. Time, "Inside Camp Humphreys, South Korea: America's Largest Overseas Military Base," 13 July 2018 Of about 220 monks, the younger ones were conscripted into the German army, the elders were kicked out, and 63 monks stayed at the monastery to perform forced labor on the farm and on the upkeep of a new military hospital. Emanuella Grinberg, Smithsonian, "When a Bavarian Monastery Provided a Home to Jewish Refugees," 11 July 2018 This is a free event, but donations are always welcomed for the upkeep of the museum and event expenses. Courant Community, "Community News For The Manchester Edition," 5 June 2018 It now is valued at about $25 million, and the Schleicher County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for upkeep of the Yearning for Zion Ranch. Krista Johnson, USA TODAY, "This son of prophet Warren Jeffs has 54 brothers and sisters. Yet the former FLDS church member felt alone.," 8 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'upkeep.' 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 upkeep

1884, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near upkeep



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upland boneset

Statistics for upkeep

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for upkeep

The first known use of upkeep was in 1884

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More Definitions for upkeep



English Language Learners Definition of upkeep

: the process of keeping something in good condition : the care or maintenance of buildings, equipment, etc.


up·​keep | \ˈəp-ˌkēp \

Kids Definition of upkeep

: the act or cost of keeping something in good condition … “the rent is cheaper than what your old house costs in upkeep.”— Ellen Raskin, The Westing Game

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More from Merriam-Webster on upkeep

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with upkeep

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for upkeep

Spanish Central: Translation of upkeep

Nglish: Translation of upkeep for Spanish Speakers

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