up·​lift | \(ˌ)əp-ˈlift \
uplifted; uplifting; uplifts

Definition of uplift 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to lift up : elevate especially : to cause (a portion of the earth's surface) to rise above adjacent areas

2 : to improve the spiritual, social, or intellectual condition of


up·​lift | \ˈəp-ˌlift \

Definition of uplift (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act, process, result, or cause of uplifting: such as

a(1) : the uplifting of a part of the earth's surface

(2) : an uplifted mass of land

b : a bettering of a condition especially spiritually, socially, or intellectually

c(1) : influences intended to uplift

(2) : a social movement to improve especially morally or culturally

2 : a brassiere designed to hold the breasts up

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Other Words from uplift


uplifter noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for uplift

Synonyms: Verb

boost, crane, elevate, heave, heft, heighten, hike, hoist, jack (up), lift, perk (up), pick up, raise, take up, up, uphold, upraise

Antonyms: Verb

drop, lower

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Examples of uplift in a Sentence


music that uplifts the soul geologic forces that uplifted the mountains

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The most important thing is uplifting our families and communities. Nick Hollkamp, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky voters guide: Who's running for Louisville Metro Council," 13 May 2018 Regardless of the outcome Saturday, this Wimbledon is a resounding triumph — not only for Williams, but for the millions who've been uplifted just by watching her. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Of all Serena's triumphs, this Wimbledon run is the most impressive," 12 July 2018 The company partners with groups like the USO and the American Legion to give back and uplift a broad swath of fellow veterans. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Celebrate Fourth of July by supporting these veteran-owned companies," 4 July 2018 The girls would often pop in her office and uplift her mood. Quoron Walker, Courant Community, "Robertson Girls On The Run," 19 June 2018 Community service is also crucial to uplifting our district. Nick Hollkamp, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky voters guide: Who's running for Louisville Metro Council," 13 May 2018 Some movies are intended to uplift, to inspire, to affirm -- and maybe to leave moviegoers with a smile on their face or a fuzzy feeling in their gut by the time the credits roll. Mike Scott, NOLA.com, "'Loveless' movie review: A grim reflection of Putin's Russia," 18 Apr. 2018 There are also anecdotes from his life, including a harrowing one about the shooting of one of his sons, and an uplifting one about performing for autistic children in Japan. Milford Graves, New York Times, "Review: ‘Milford Graves Full Mantis’ Delivers a Lot of Heart," 12 July 2018 The group stressed uplifting those impacted most by discrimination. Max Londberg, kansascity, "Dozens celebrate Juneteenth in KCK, call for criminal justice reform," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

With the launch of a Capital Improvement Project that launched last October and is scheduled to run through the end of this season, the facilities are getting a significant uplift. Brent Kennedy, baltimoresun.com, "Piney Branch Golf Club," 7 June 2018 Everything Is Borrowed embrace grief, outrage, uplift, and shades of hope and despair, love and disdain, in between. John Timpane, Philly.com, "Nathaniel Popkin is a Philly author with a rare double play - two new books at once," 11 July 2018 Roof tile and shingle geometry affects the air leakage, and therefore the overall uplift. OrlandoSentinel.com, "University of Florida has world-class weather lab," 30 May 2018 However, uplift to trigger the storms — both at low levels and higher levels of the atmosphere — is not impressive. Jeff Halverson, Washington Post, "Severe thunderstorm watch: Storms approaching D.C.’s southern suburbs," 10 May 2018 Liberated’ The bass line has a steel-drum shimmer and an old-Motown sense of uplift; the drums spatter like 2010s trap. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "The Playlist: Kanye West’s Breakout Star 070 Shake, and 10 More New Songs," 8 June 2018 But Tomlinson has been able to work within the constraints by balancing her time to ensure uplift on both ends. Chris Weller, Newsweek, "America Hates Its Gifted Kids," 16 Jan. 2014 The unquestioned prowess of a French team built from the country’s minority population does offer a happy story of integration and uplift. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "The World Cup is a victory for the immigrant dream," 12 July 2018 However, in the absence of a front, the trigger (source of uplift) for storms will be lacking. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "Storms, some with very heavy rain and flooding potential, likely at times through Saturday," 31 May 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


circa 1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near uplift

upland willow oak







Statistics for uplift

Last Updated

2 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for uplift

The first known use of uplift was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for uplift



English Language Learners Definition of uplift

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make (someone) happy or hopeful

: to lift (something) up : to raise (something) to a higher position



English Language Learners Definition of uplift (Entry 2 of 2)

: an increase in amount or number

: an increase in happiness or hopefulness


up·​lift | \ˌəp-ˈlift \
uplifted; uplifting

Kids Definition of uplift

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to lift up

2 : to make feel happy or hopeful The music uplifted us.


up·​lift | \ˈəp-ˌlift \

Kids Definition of uplift (Entry 2 of 2)

: an increase in happiness or hopefulness

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Comments on uplift

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


playful or foolish behavior

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