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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Valerie Torres-Rosario is a picture of put-upon practicality as the lovelorn assistant stage manager, and Kate Milazzo shrewdly does a fine acting job of portraying a bad actress. Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 12 Sep. 2022 That level triggers agreed-upon cuts in the amounts that two of the lower basin states, Arizona and Nevada, and Mexico can take from Lake Mead. Henry Fountain, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Aug. 2022 Only Charlie doesn’t know his put-upon pop is busy saving the world, one disaster at a time. Courtney Howard, Variety, 10 Aug. 2022 Lawyers for Twitter argue that Musk is looking for an excuse to bow out of the agree-upon terms after his personal net worth fell with the drop-off in Tesla’s stock price. Todd Spangler, Variety, 10 Aug. 2022 The city’s plans, previously negotiated and agreed upon, have drawn millions in support from private funders, including the Rasmuson Foundation, Providence Alaska and Weidner Apartment Homes. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 14 July 2022 For Ukrainians, agreed-upon humanitarian corridors can be a lifeline out of danger zones. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, 17 Apr. 2022 Bartlett, playing the fussy, put-upon resort manager, was essentially the lead of the series. Los Angeles Times, 11 July 2022 Once their truculent director shows up (played by then matinee-idol handsome Lou Castel, an ironic but convincing stand-in for Fassbinder; the director himself plays the film’s much-put-upon production manager Sascha), nothing continues to happen. Glenn Kenny, BostonGlobe.com, 7 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near upon



upon further review of

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Statistics for upon

Last Updated

22 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Upon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upon. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for upon


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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