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

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of uplift in a Sentence

Verb music that uplifts the soul geologic forces that uplifted the mountains
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Meghan's always used her platform to uplift other women, so her visit to the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre was a fitting one. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Had Her First Public Event in Canada After She and Prince Harry Stepped Down as Senior Royals," 15 Jan. 2020 On Twitter, many people were ecstatic for the group, noting that the choir's performance left them feeling especially uplifted: However, the recurring complaint this year of there being too many golden buzzers given to singing acts continued. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'America's Got Talent' Fans Are Peeved Olivia Munn Gave Angel City Chorale the Golden Buzzer," 25 July 2018 Twitter users instantly flooded De Jager's mentions with uplifting comments, praising her fresh paint job, but — more importantly — uplifting its meaning. Aimee Simeon, refinery29.com, "NikkieTutorials Got A Symbolic Manicure Following Her Powerful Coming Out Video," 18 Jan. 2020 Most commemorations of Christopher Columbus originate in Italian-American communities that uplifted the Italian explorer’s work in response to discrimination against Italian immigrants. Sameer Rao, baltimoresun.com, "Activists rally in Baltimore to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day," 29 Nov. 2019 Reviewers often describe Ajoyo’s music as a mix of global influences including Afropop and jazz, dominated by uplifting emotion. al, "MOJO presenting special concert by NYC group Nov. 4," 23 Oct. 2019 Hauer-King has two sisters, one of whom, Hannah, is the artistic director of a theater company uplifting female voices. Rachel Yang, EW.com, "Everything you need to know about The Little Mermaid's Prince Eric, Jonah Hauer-King (yes, he can sing)," 13 Nov. 2019 Democrats often have countered that the state has not done enough under GOP leadership, in particular, for K-12 schools and to uplift the embattled Department of Child Services. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "House Speaker Brian Bosma to retire after 34 years," 19 Nov. 2019 Italy, hoping to capitalize on its ancient culture and reputation for the good life, also seeks to uplift its cuisine abroad. Amelia Nierenberg, New York Times, "Guarding the Sanctity of Italian Food, One Meal at a Time," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This circular structure is honest, without the default Ailey uplift. Brian Seibert, New York Times, "Review: A Dance About Gun Violence? ‘Ode’ Is Daring and Delicate," 11 Dec. 2019 From the first episode to the last, the tone is one of uplift. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "‘Little America’s’ vignettes of the immigrant experience sometimes feel a little too sunny," 16 Jan. 2020 An uplift of ash and smoke, which then cools, creates a thunderstorm-like occurrence but without the rain. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Smoke from Australian wildfires will circle the entire world, NASA says," 14 Jan. 2020 But the island was elevated during a period of geologic uplift, creating a 92-acre lake that today is surrounded by a ridge more than 130 feet high. Richard C. Paddock, New York Times, "A Lake With Stingless Jellyfish and Hints of Hotter Seas," 4 Nov. 2019 At those moments, in seeking uplift amid the darkness, the movie risks veering into cliches. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Harriet' adds Hollywood touch to Harriet Tubman's heroic tale," 31 Oct. 2019 The scene is marked by a powerful eulogy delivered by Flip Williams (Lahmard Tate), whose message of uplift later helps Coop avoid becoming a victim of gang violence as well. Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times, "The CW’s ‘All American’ pens a ‘love letter’ to Nipsey Hussle and South L.A.," 7 Oct. 2019 Instagram is killing Sears And consumers’ lives are being radically changed in the wake of such uplift. Lily Jackson | Ljackson@al.com, al, "Gen Z is changing the look, feel of small-business Alabama," 10 Nov. 2019 The main driver of this uplift from poverty has been the globalization of the international trading system. Lee Edwards, National Review, "Three Nations That Tried Socialism and Rejected It," 14 Oct. 2019

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

Time Traveler for uplift

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for uplift

Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Uplift.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uplift?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=u&file=uplift01. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for uplift


How to pronounce uplift (audio)

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


How to pronounce uplift (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for uplift

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!