up·​lift | \ (ˌ)əp-ˈlift How to pronounce uplift (audio) \
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 How to pronounce uplift (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of uplift in a Sentence


music that uplifts the soul geologic forces that uplifted the mountains

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Life uplifted by love and faith, but also pricked with loss. Lisa Kennedy, The Know, "Can they get an amen? Vintage Theatre goes to church with “Crowns: A Gospel Musical”," 5 July 2019 Kilgore is an activist and author from Illinois who runs the E-Carceration Project online, intent on challenging narratives about electronic monitoring by uplifting the voices of those who have worn them. Andrew Boryga, sun-sentinel.com, "Accused rapist takes off, showing that ankle monitors aren’t a perfect solution," 3 July 2019 From jazz to bluegrass, country to ragtime, hip-hop to barbershop quartets, the celebration of music as a boundary-breaking, uplifting art was the focus of the street festival. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "American Music Celebrated At Putnam’s First Friday," 17 June 2019 Spending more time actively engaged in group activities can go a long way towards uplifting your spirits. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for June 15, 2019: Happy birthday to actress Helen Hunt; Cancer, you can always change your mind," 15 June 2019 And that holds especially true for a show that can uplift us without glossing over what’s at stake. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Broadway's Joyful Musical ‘The Prom’ Is Necessary Right Now," 4 June 2019 You can be uplifted, empowered, and comforted by it. Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, Glamour, "Someone Great Is Totally New Kind of Romantic Comedy," 19 Apr. 2019 Focusing on positive content, uplifting others, exchanging ideas with colleagues, educating patients, and exploring gratitude have taught me a great deal about using social media for positive effect. Dana Corriel, SELF, "The Rise of the Social Media Doctor," 26 Apr. 2019 Now in its fifth year, over 25,000 people from across the country come together at the one-day event to celebrate and uplift black beauty. Chona Kasinger, Glamour, "19 Gorgeous Beauty Looks from CurlFest 2018," 23 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Kyle has another shot to build another program in Arizona and uplift Arizona basketball. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Kyle Weaver leaving Bella Vista to start Dream City Christian national HS hoops program," 28 June 2019 Aside from a single 48-hour uplift in the first weekend of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the Cardinal has wallowed for more than a decade. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Stock report: On USC football momentum, Stanford basketball personnel hits, Pac-12 bowl partners and more," 7 June 2019 In my research, black conservatives who directly spoke to issues of racial inequality and black uplift felt marginalized within the GOP. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Diamond and Silk, Fox & Friends’ favorite black Trump supporters, explained," 5 Feb. 2019 Both address the subject of history in a way unusual until recently for American institutions: with a truth-telling, uplift-free prosecutorial directness. New York Times, "A Memorial to the Lingering Horror of Lynching," 1 June 2018 Orange, grapefruit, ginseng and vitamin C uplift and refresh first thing in the morning, elixirjuice.com. Alexandra Tunell, Harper's BAZAAR, "10 Best Juices to Try in New York City," 12 Feb. 2015 The active, fault-block uplift responsible for the Teton Range shoved eight peaks to 12,000 feet along a 40-mile stretch. Peter Reese, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Way To Spend 72 Hours at Jackson Hole," 31 July 2018 Now yet again, during a time when black people are rigorously opposing legislation and social issues meant to hinder black uplift, kente cloth has reappeared draped against the bodies of the community's greatest civil rights figures. Amira Rasool, Teen Vogue, "Why Black Lawmakers Wore Kente Cloth to Protest Trump’s “Sh*thole” Comments at the State of the Union," 31 Jan. 2018 But prices have recovered this year, and as a result the companies saw a marked uplift to their profits in the third quarter. Bradley Olson, WSJ, "Exxon, Chevron Profits Soar as Big Oil Returns to Dominance," 2 Nov. 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.

See More

First Known Use of uplift


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


circa 1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about uplift

Dictionary Entries near uplift

upland willow oak







Statistics for uplift

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for uplift

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce uplift (audio) \
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 How to pronounce uplift (audio) \

Kids Definition of uplift (Entry 2 of 2)

: an increase in happiness or hopefulness

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on uplift

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with uplift

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for uplift

Spanish Central: Translation of uplift

Nglish: Translation of uplift for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about uplift

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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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