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

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 As mayor, Morse is working to uplift the gay community. NBC News, "Growing number of scholarships fill void for LGBTQ students," 16 May 2018 Asked how Americans can best uplift the country together, only about one in 10 cited a commitment to vote and participate in the electoral process. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "If Faith in Democracy Ebbs, Danger Rises," 2 July 2018 Like, having an impact like this for your city and sports teams but not being present to represent them in person must be devastating... at the same time uplifting. Katie Krzaczek, Billboard, "Fans Want Meek Mill Released After Super Bowl-Bound Philadelphia Eagles Celebrate With His 'Dreams and Nightmares'," 22 Jan. 2018 For us, it’s Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park, 932 acres of uplifted, jagged sandstone in California’s Sierra Pelona Mountains, at the north end of Los Angeles County. Nick Davidson, Outside Online, "Visit Westworld for Real," 19 June 2018 Yet, whether performing in a concert hall or a nightclub, at a festival or at the Grammys, the Blind Boys’ goal to uplift audiences never wavered, even if their musical approach did. George Varga, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Blind Boys' vocal legend Clarence Fountain, dead at 88, remembered in his own inimitable words," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 In other city neighborhoods that were hotbeds of violence and dysfunction, like Harlem and Washington Heights, crime declines have coincided with demographic shifts brought on by gentrification and economic uplift. Ashley Southall, New York Times, "Once the ‘Killing Fields,’ East New York Has No Murders in 2018," 20 Apr. 2018 Musically, both singles inventively reclaimed the sound of uplift in a generally drowsy pop-rap era. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Why Drake Can’t Pull Off Being the ‘Good Guy’," 5 July 2018 Quantrell Taylor, a former chef instructor who now manages production and catering for Chicago’s Community Kitchens, shared his own story of uplift with program participants and encouraged them to consider a career in food service. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "'Helping me do better for my daughters': State pilot program offers education, job training for young fathers," 15 June 2018 The otherworldly landscape is the result of uplift that left it prone to erosion when the sea receded some 10 million years ago. Smithsonian, "Explore Catalonia’s Most Beautiful Nature Parks," 15 June 2018 On Thursday, regions near and along the boundary will experience the greatest triggering (uplift) potential for sustained showers and thunderstorms. Jeff Halverson, Washington Post, "The D.C. region is likely to be the target of more heavy rain and possible flooding through the weekend," 30 May 2018 The band wedded uplift with emotion, solemnity and politics. John Adamian, courant.com, "From Sam Hunt And Reba To U2 And King X: A Week Of Big-Name Concerts," 23 June 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

7 Sep 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).


a magnificent or impressive array

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