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 But even the agreed-upon number for domestic programs will force legislators to play a zero-sum game. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "How Congress could reverse cuts in Trump’s budget request for NSF," 13 Feb. 2020 If terms can't be agreed upon, music users immediately get access, and a federal court later decides a fair price. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Trump's Enforcer: Meet the Man Who Holds Hollywood and Silicon Valley's Future in His Hands," 12 Feb. 2020 Supporters contend that natural-gas service to a home or business is cheaper than electricity, though that's not widely agreed upon. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "As cities in other states ban natural gas, Arizona lawmakers move to protect it," 12 Feb. 2020 His commission had already been baked into the agreed-upon rent, which would have to be renegotiated. Chris Dolmetsch And Nic Querolo / Bloomberg, Time, "New York City Apartment Broker Fees Return After Judge Temporarily Blocks Ban," 11 Feb. 2020 And memories of his wins in 1998, 2005, 2007, 2012 and last year provide positives to call upon. Steve Dimeglio, Golfweek, "Phil Mickelson on U.S. Open bid: No to special exemption if he doesn't qualify," 5 Feb. 2020 Stanley Black & Decker is holding back $200 million of the purchase price until the Federal Aviation Administration approves the MAX’s return to service and Boeing reaches previously agreed-upon production levels. Ben Dummett, WSJ, "Boeing 737 MAX Woes Undermine Suppliers’ Deal Making," 4 Feb. 2020 Whatever comes of the agreement, whether it is agreed upon or not -- and most signs indicate it will not be accepted -- Jordan has remained in a precarious position on multiple fronts. Fox News, "Trump's Mideast peace plan could have major long-term implications for ally Jordan," 1 Feb. 2020 Previous drops in lake levels over the last 60 years were caused by a natural decrease in annual rainfall and by Uganda releasing more than the agreed upon water to generate electricity. Emily J. Beverly, Quartz Africa, "In 100,000 years Lake Victoria has dried up three times—it could happen again," 26 Jan. 2020

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

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Upon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upon. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for upon

How to pronounce upon (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on upon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for upon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with upon

Spanish Central: Translation of upon

Nglish: Translation of upon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of upon for Arabic Speakers

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