up·​on | \ ə-ˈpȯn How to pronounce upon (audio) , -ˈpän \

Definition of upon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: on


up·​on | \ ə-ˈpȯn How to pronounce upon (audio) , -ˈpän \

Definition of upon (Entry 2 of 2)

1 obsolete : on the surface : on it
2 obsolete : thereafter, thereon

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Synonyms for upon

Synonyms: Preposition

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Examples of upon in a Sentence

Preposition He carefully placed the vase upon the table. They built their city upon a cliff overlooking the sea. She was seated upon a throne. an assault upon traditional values She was admitted to his office immediately upon her arrival. That kind of behavior is frowned upon.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition As a newcomer in Rio, Stewart wasn’t looked upon to do much. Alexa Philippou, courant.com, 25 June 2021 One of the two more relied-upon models, the GFS (Global Forecasting System) has developed a tropical low in the Gulf in its model runs consistently. Leigh Morgan, al, 15 May 2021 The study looked at data on the medications patients had been prescribed, were currently taking upon enrollment in the study, or were taking within 2 weeks before hospital admission. Robert Glatter, Forbes, 11 May 2021 Eddie Murphy conceived the show and provided the voice for lead character Thurgood Stubbs, put-upon super of a low-income housing project. oregonlive, 11 June 2021 Others feel uncomfortable and put upon to be in close proximity with a person who could potentially spread the virus. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 10 June 2021 Kevin is the schlubby husband of Murphy’s Allison, an archetypally put-upon wife. Alex Barasch, The New Yorker, 5 June 2021 The length of the trial will be determined later on Monday after the defense and prosecution discuss how many witnesses both sides will call upon for the case, which stems from a September rally. Reuters, CNN, 15 Mar. 2021 On May 31, 1921, an angry white mob set upon and destroyed the wealthy, segregated Black community in North Tulsa known as the Greenwood District. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, 25 May 2021

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


12th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for upon

Time Traveler

The first known use of upon was in the 12th century

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Statistics for upon

Last Updated

30 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Upon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upon. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for upon



English Language Learners Definition of upon

used to say that someone or something is very close or has arrived
used to emphasize something that is repeated many times


up·​on | \ ə-ˈpȯn How to pronounce upon (audio) , ə-ˈpän \

Kids Definition of upon

: on entry 1 I put the plate upon the table. … she was glad to be an ordinary person who would never be called upon for courage.— Lois Lowry, Number the Stars

More from Merriam-Webster on upon

Nglish: Translation of upon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of upon for Arabic Speakers


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