up·​pi·​ty | \ ˈə-pə-tē How to pronounce uppity (audio) \

Definition of uppity

: putting on or marked by airs of superiority : arrogant, presumptuous uppity technicians a small uppity country

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Other Words from uppity

uppitiness or less commonly uppityness noun

Examples of uppity in a Sentence

Don't get uppity with me. uppity social climbers who were the biggest snobs in town

Recent Examples on the Web

But for a kid in Kentucky, Stonewall—even as recounted by White and others who were there—represented, at best, a kind of aspirational gay life, a bevy of uppity queers fighting for their decidedly unrespectable libidinal community. Michelle Tea, Harper's magazine, "Stonewall at Fifty," 22 June 2019 Marylin McGinnis seems too young to play a formidable elderly woman but gives the part suitable bite, and Amy Hughes shines in two roles — a no-nonsense nurse and an uppity dance instructor. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "‘Flashdance’ story should have stayed in the ’80s | Review," 12 July 2019 The Party will not tolerate Hong Kong’s brash, uppity independence until 2047. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 20 June 2019 This upset Japanese firms, which were not accustomed to dealing with uppity young academics. Takashi Mochizuki, WSJ, "Junichi Nishizawa, Japan’s ‘Mr. Semiconductor,’ Rivaled U.S. Scientists," 2 Nov. 2018 Sticking it to uppity black millionaires has been good for business since the first cretin came up with the lie that the first black president wasn't born in this country, and well before that even. Robert Klemko, SI.com, "Don't Be Fooled: President Trump Is Using NFL as Distraction for Bigger Issues Surrounding White House," 5 June 2018 Forty years later, trashing is still progressives’ favorite tactic to deploy against uppity women. Laurie Penny, Longreads, "Who Does She Think She Is?," 29 Mar. 2018 He was called a coward, a traitor, a dupe, and an uppity N-word. Jonathan Eig, Slate Magazine, "Black Athletes Are Only Loved When They Are Harmless," 26 Sep. 2017 And that he and, by proxy, Hillary Clinton are not afraid to put these uppity negroes back in their place. Susana Morris, Cosmopolitan, "Bill Clinton Knew Exactly What He Was Doing With That Tirade Against Black Lives Matter," 8 Apr. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'uppity.' 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 uppity

1880, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for uppity

probably from up + -ity (as in persnickity, variant of persnickety)

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Statistics for uppity

Last Updated

5 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for uppity

The first known use of uppity was in 1880

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English Language Learners Definition of uppity

informal + disapproving : acting as if you are more important than you really are, do not have to do what you are told to do, etc.

More from Merriam-Webster on uppity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for uppity

Nglish: Translation of uppity for Spanish Speakers

Comments on uppity

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


to shake or wave menacingly

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