up·​per | \ˈə-pər \

Definition of upper 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : higher in physical position, rank, or order the upper lip upper management

b : farther inland the upper Mississippi

2 : constituting the branch of a bicameral legislature that is usually smaller and more restricted in membership and possesses greater traditional prestige than the lower house

3a : constituting a stratum relatively near the earth's surface

b capitalized : being a later epoch or series of the period or system named Upper Cretaceous Upper Paleolithic

4 : northern upper Manhattan


noun (1)

Definition of upper (Entry 2 of 3)

: one that is upper: such as

a : the parts of a shoe or boot above the sole

b : an upper tooth or denture

c : an upper berth

on one's uppers

: in straitened circumstances : destitute


noun (2)

Definition of upper (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a stimulant drug especially : amphetamine

2 : something that induces a state of good feeling or exhilaration

Examples of upper in a Sentence


upper and lower front teeth the wing's upper and lower surfaces the ship's upper and lower decks Who will sleep on the upper berth? The upper stories are occupied by offices. the upper layer of the Earth's crust temperatures in the mid to upper 20s Write your name on the upper left-hand corner of the page. relief of upper back pain the mountain's upper and lower slopes
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First Known Use of upper


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (1)

1789, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

circa 1968, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for upper


Middle English, comparative of up entry 2

Noun (2)

up + -er entry 2

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Time Traveler for upper

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

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English Language Learners Definition of upper

: located above another or others of the same kind

: located at or near the top

: located toward the north


up·​per | \ˈə-pər \

Kids Definition of upper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : higher in position or rank the building's upper stories the upper classes

2 : farther inland the region of the upper Mississippi River



Kids Definition of upper (Entry 2 of 2)

: something (as the parts of a shoe above the sole) that is upper


up·​per | \ˈəp-ər \

Medical Definition of upper 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: an upper tooth or denture



Medical Definition of upper (Entry 2 of 2)

: a stimulant drug especially : amphetamine

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More from Merriam-Webster on upper

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with upper

Spanish Central: Translation of upper

Nglish: Translation of upper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of upper for Arabic Speakers

Comments on upper

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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