up·​keep | \ ˈəp-ˌkēp How to pronounce upkeep (audio) \

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

And, as is standard for Balboa Park institutions, the museum must handle the interior upkeep of its building. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Timken Museum lease agreement sets precedent for Balboa Park institutions," 4 June 2019 Key reasons seniors move to a retirement community are the following: No more upkeep of a large home. Houston Chronicle, "Treemont maintenance director Don Ibanez excels for 34-plus years," 16 Apr. 2018 But the congregation dwindled to about a dozen and couldn’t afford upkeep on the building. al.com, "Church in path of 1998 tornado closes," 6 June 2019 Meanwhile, the provincial government is complaining about paying million for upkeep on empty venues, with the national government unwilling to assume the costs. Stephen Wade, The Seattle Times, "Tokyo Olympics: Costs hit almost $25 billion _ may go higher," 9 Oct. 2018 The judging criteria will be how color is used, how appropriate the display is for the structure’s architecture, upkeep, originality and decorative exterior structures. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "How can you win money and help beautify South Milwaukee? The new 'Beautification Awards'," 30 May 2018 The autolaunchers, which cost about $1.2 million to install, not including upkeep, are not paid for by taxpayer money. Erica Martinson, Anchorage Daily News, "The National Weather Service is replacing Alaska jobs with automated stations," 9 Apr. 2018 Such leases help insulate landowners from the risks of developing and operating an office or residential rental property, and from footing bills for upkeep, tenant improvements or broker commissions. Keiko Morris, WSJ, "Ground Rents Weigh Down High-Soaring Icons," 22 Jan. 2019 The Devil’s Ball raised $42,000 to support the theater's upkeep, outreach and future programming. Candace Jordan, chicagotribune.com, "Devil's Ball fires up support for Auditorium Theatre," 10 July 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



up Jenkins




upland boneset

Statistics for upkeep

Last Updated

25 Jun 2019

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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 How to pronounce upkeep (audio) \

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

Comments on upkeep

What made you want to look up upkeep? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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