upper

1 of 3

adjective

up·​per ˈə-pər How to pronounce upper (audio)
1
a
: 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
3
a
: 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

upper

2 of 3

noun (1)

: 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

upper

3 of 3

noun (2)

1
: a stimulant drug
especially : amphetamine
2
: something that induces a state of good feeling or exhilaration
Phrases
on one's uppers
: in straitened circumstances : destitute

Example Sentences

Adjective 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 See More

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English, comparative of up entry 2

Noun (2)

up + -er entry 2

First Known Use

Adjective

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

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

Cite this Entry

“Upper.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upper. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

upper 1 of 3

adjective

up·​per ˈəp-ər How to pronounce upper (audio)
1
: higher in physical position, rank, or order
the upper lip
upper management
2
: being the smaller and more restricted branch of a two-house legislature
3
capitalized : of, relating to, or being a later geologic period or formation
the Upper Cretaceous period
4
: being toward the interior : further inland
the upper Amazon
5
: northern
upper New York state

upper

2 of 3

noun

1
: the parts of a shoe or boot above the sole
2
: an upper tooth or set of teeth
3
: an upper berth

upper

3 of 3

noun

: a stimulant drug
especially : amphetamine

Medical Definition

upper 1 of 2

noun

up·​per ˈəp-ər How to pronounce upper (audio)
: an upper tooth or denture

upper

2 of 2

noun

: a stimulant drug
especially : amphetamine

More from Merriam-Webster on upper

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