1 of 3


up·​right ˈəp-ˌrīt How to pronounce upright (audio)
: erect in carriage or posture
: having the main axis or a main part perpendicular
upright freezer
: marked by strong moral rectitude
an upright citizen
uprightly adverb
uprightness noun


2 of 3


: vertically upward : in an upright position


3 of 3


: the state of being upright : perpendicular
a pillar out of upright
: something that stands upright
especially : a football goalpost
usually used in plural
Choose the Right Synonym for upright

upright, honest, just, conscientious, scrupulous, honorable mean having or showing a strict regard for what is morally right.

upright implies a strict adherence to moral principles.

a stern and upright minister

honest stresses adherence to such virtues as truthfulness, candor, or fairness.

known for being honest in business dealings

just stresses conscious choice and regular practice of what is right or equitable.

workers given just compensation

conscientious and scrupulous imply an active moral sense governing all one's actions and painstaking efforts to follow one's conscience.

conscientious in the completion of her assignments
scrupulous in carrying out the terms of the will

honorable suggests a firm holding to codes of right behavior and the guidance of a high sense of honor and duty.

a difficult but honorable decision

Example Sentences

Adjective Put your seat back in the upright position. The container should be kept upright to prevent leaks. Noun The uprights of the structure were embedded in concrete.
Recent Examples on the Web
That probably means storing the bed horizontally rather than in the upright position. Chris Smith, BGR, 8 Oct. 2022 Holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of you forces you to work from a more upright position while also focusing on keeping your core nice and tight. Jeff Tomko, Men's Health, 29 Sep. 2022 Posture correcting devices can help relieve back tension by offering immediate support or training the back, shoulder, and neck muscles to maintain an upright position over time. Cai Cramer, Peoplemag, 18 Sep. 2022 The upright driving position and relatively tall overall height translate to good visibility on the road, but the small footprint and punchy electric powertrain provide very nimble vehicle dynamics. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 31 Aug. 2022 Take note that while the seat reclines, some of our testers did complain that it can't be repositioned into a complete upright position. Jamie Spain, Good Housekeeping, 26 July 2022 In Providence, across the river, the city has worked to preserve the Crook Point Bascule Bridge, which is fixed in the upright position. Brian Amaral, BostonGlobe.com, 18 July 2022 Mix it up with more upright varieties, such as rosemary, and creeping types, such as thyme for an attractive and useful hanging basket. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 16 Nov. 2022 This device is a sleek lavender-gray upright-cordless vacuum that comes with four extra tool attachments that convert it into a hand vacuum with the click of its red central button. Kristin Granero, SELF, 15 Nov. 2022
Keep your tree standing upright with an elegant tree collar. Emily Rochotte, Good Housekeeping, 26 Oct. 2022 The bears can weigh up to 300 pounds and stand five feet tall when standing upright. Chuck Johnston, CNN, 23 Oct. 2022 The patient sat upright from the operating table and could see again. Jake Dressler, Hartford Courant, 7 Oct. 2022 David stands upright in a bathroom stall for seven days. Eli Grober, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2022 The Bloem Easy Pour Watering Can also proved to be extremely durable and stayed upright even when our testers dropped it on both grass and concrete. Laura (fisher) Matta, Better Homes & Gardens, 26 Sep. 2022 The rows of rice stalks that had been standing upright a day earlier were bent over like they had been trampled by a huge crowd. Jhesset O. Enano, Washington Post, 25 Sep. 2022 Lucas was diagnosed with bumblefoot — a condition that can cause a range of degenerative foot issues in birds — after developing a spinal infection three years ago that weakened his leg muscles and prevented Lucas from standing upright on his toes. Stephanie Wenger, Peoplemag, 7 Sep. 2022 The light blue steel is going upright from the ground for the thrill ride, which will operate near the front of SeaWorld and adjacent to its parking lot, close to the Ports of Call gateway. Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel, 14 Sep. 2022
The Gophers couldn't cash in on a Graham Mertz interception and after Matthew Trickett's 48-yard field hit the upright, the Badgers took over with 1:48 to play at their 30. Mark Stewart, Journal Sentinel, 26 Nov. 2022 Alabama could have used him down the stretch as a potential game-tying 30-yarder hit the upright with 2:00 left at Auburn in a 48-45 loss. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, 17 Nov. 2022 His first one, from 41 yards, hit the left upright, while the second, from 46 yards, doinked off the right. Jonas Shaffer, Baltimore Sun, 5 Oct. 2022 The Razorbacks were stung by a two-point loss to Texas A&M after a late field goal attempt hit the upright. John Scheibe, Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2022 Kicker Jason Sanders had a 52-yard field goal blocked in the second quarter and then hit the upright on an extra point later in the second quarter. Steve Svekis, Sun Sentinel, 29 Sep. 2022 Nicholson had hit the upright on a previous field-goal attempt and had another blocked. Matt Carlson, Chicago Tribune, 25 Sep. 2022 Cade York, meanwhile, hit the upright on his second point-after kick of the night to keep the Browns' lead at 13-7. Chris Easterling, USA TODAY, 23 Sep. 2022 The Knights drove to the Troy 25, but Quinn Maretzki hit the right upright with a 42-yard attempt and the Trojans survived after kneeling on the next play. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 12 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'upright.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


12th century, in the meaning defined above


1683, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of upright was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near upright

Cite this Entry

“Upright.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upright. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
up·​right ˈəp-ˌrīt How to pronounce upright (audio)
: vertical entry 1 sense 2
an upright posture
: having the main axis or a main part perpendicular
: living by high moral standards : honorable
uprightness noun


2 of 2 noun
: an upright or vertical position
: something upright

More from Merriam-Webster on upright

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.