up·​on | \ə-ˈpȯn, -ˈpän\

Definition of upon 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: on


up·​on | \ə-ˈpȯn, -ˈpän\

Definition of upon (Entry 2 of 2)

1 obsolete : on the surface : on it

2 obsolete : thereafter, thereon

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for upon

Synonyms: Preposition

against, on

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of upon in a Sentence


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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

Cristiano Ronaldo will embark upon a new chapter in his illustrious career this season after joining Juventus in a €100m deal. SI.com, "Cristiano Ronaldo's Incredible List of Records Set While at Real Madrid," 11 July 2018 Sam Keeble, a student from Chepstow near the England/Wales border, did not want to miss out when a group of his English friends embarked upon a summer tour of Russia. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Why 'Brits' don't support England at the World Cup," 9 July 2018 Becca and Jason embark upon a tour of the city now that Becca has apparently become a Richmond history buff overnight. Aurelie Corinthios, PEOPLE.com, "Becca Kufrin Doesn't Know Who to Trust as Bachelorette Contestant Claims He Was Fat-Shamed," 2 July 2018 Russia, which is in the midst of a major rearmament program, has embarked upon its biggest military push in the Arctic since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, beefing up its military presence and capabilities. Anchorage Daily News, "US must ‘up its game’ in the Arctic, defense secretary says during Alaska stopover," 26 June 2018 And Larson has embarked upon a project to explore how the influx of immigrants over the centuries is slowly pulling thenation’s population south and west. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Artists explore American identity in Sondheim Artscape Prize exhibit," 21 June 2018 Ladonnis kind of took it upon himself as a senior to start the GoFundMe and put that together for Matt's family. Scott Springer, Cincinnati.com, "Ladonnis Griffin's biggest play ever at Lakota West was a GoFundMe page," 12 July 2018 Thankfully, there are just as many folk beliefs around good luck and how to bring it into your life as there are ways to bring bad luck upon yourself. Sarah Lyons, Teen Vogue, "How to Make Friday the 13th Good Luck Charms," 12 July 2018 Straws made from other materials, like paper and compostable plastic, are also available for use with Frappuccinos upon request. 2. Erin Corbett, Fortune, "These 8 Companies Are Ditching Plastic Straws. Here’s How They Are Replacing Them," 11 July 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of upon


12th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about upon

Statistics for upon

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for upon

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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, 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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on upon

What made you want to look up upon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!