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

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

The young country’s amazing marine life has created hope that visitors could uplift its urgently poor economy. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump gets schooled in Syria on how much his words matter," 9 Apr. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Annual compensation for some shale executives can top $10 million or more, and their equity stakes sometimes represent less than three years’ compensation, making the value of the job greater than any share price uplift from a merger. Bradley Olson, WSJ, "Frustrated Investors Want Frackers to Consolidate," 19 Oct. 2018 Amid the sadness of these days, Robinson can find uplift — and believes Franklin's legacy is secure. Fox News, "Hollywood prepares for Aretha Franklin's star-studded funeral," 31 Aug. 2018 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

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

28 Dec 2018

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 \
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

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).


important, real, or meaningful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
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!