up·​side | \ˈəp-ˌsīd \

Definition of upside 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an upward trend (as of prices)

2a : a positive aspect

b : promise, potential a young star with lots of upside


up·​side | \ˈəp-ˈsīd \

Definition of upside (Entry 2 of 2)

: up on or against the side of layin' in this death cell, writin' my time upside the wall— Lonnie Johnson smacked him upside the head

Examples of upside in a Sentence


One upside to the new house is its location.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There’s a lot going on under the handlebars: upside-down front forks, dual-leaning front wheels. David Curcurito, Popular Mechanics, "Don't Call It a Trike: Why We Love Yamaha’s Double-Front-Wheel Motorcycle," 27 Sep. 2018 His bat has really kind of developed over the last year or so that gives him some offensive upside, too. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers activate Miley to face Pirates, summon Asher, Houser, send out Orf, Lopez, Peralta," 12 July 2018 The upside: Adebayo has found a way to draw defensive fouls with aggressive post moves and has been persistent in pounding the boards for put backs. Barry Jackson, miamiherald, "Mixed offensive results for Bam Adebayo in summer league," 10 July 2018 In that deal, Heyward was shipped along with top-80 prospect Jordan Walden to the Cardinals for two high-upside, controllable arms — right-hander Shelby Miller and first-round draft choice Tyrell Jenkins. Eduardo A. Encina,, "Orioles hope to move Manny Machado soon, but market doesn't seem to be budging," 6 July 2018 The upside, however, is too great to pass up a chance to add him to a team where he's not tasked with having to be the leader or the best player. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Pacers continue push for more offense, bring aboard another scorer in Tyreke Evans," 3 July 2018 That’s a very tentative, long-term upside to a ruling whose more immediate consequences are clear and damaging for women in need of clear medical advice. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court just made it easier for crisis pregnancy centers to lie to women.," 26 June 2018 This is a probe into a hornet’s nest plopped on a third-rail shrouded in a haze — bearing who-knows-what-substantial-upside and/or unanticipated consequences in the bigger picture. Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "The Royals are considering trying to sign Luke Heimlich. Here's why they shouldn't," 25 June 2018 He and the others were high-upside, high-risk preps who didn't pan out. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "The hits and misses of Rangers drafts during Daniels era," 3 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

Would the occasional smack upside the head improve the situation? David Roberts, Vox, "Please don’t spank your kids," 3 July 2018 Louisville City slapped the New England Revolution upside the head 2-1. San Antonio Express-News, "Suds and duds: SAFC loses Open Cup match," 6 June 2018 Then, astonishingly, in the open court, after a whistle blew, Heat guard Goran Dragic cuffed Simmons upside the head after Simmons stole the ball from him, and after Simmons already had been fouled by him. Marcus Hayes,, "Sixers come together again to eliminate the Heat, advance in NBA playoffs| Marcus Hayes," 24 Apr. 2018 But Ingalls, who joined the Lips after first starting with that band as a behind the scenes tech for, can also knock listeners upside the head., "Cool things to do in Huntsville, Feb. 4 - 10," 4 Feb. 2018 Let’s not hit them upside their damn heads 100 times. Tim Rohan,, "Strip Clubs, CTE Talk and a CBD Sales Pitch: A Weekend Inside Warren Sapp’s World," 29 Jan. 2018

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


1927, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1929, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for upside


up entry 2 + side entry 1


perhaps from up entry 1 + -side (as in alongside)

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Statistics for upside

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for upside

The first known use of upside was in 1927

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Financial Definition of upside

What It Is

Upside refers to an investment's potential gains in value.

How It Works

For example, you purchase 100 shares of Company XYZ at $5 per share, for a total investment of $500. If you know or believe that Company XYZ shares will rise to $15 per share at some point, your upside equals ($15-$5 = $10) per share, or $1,000.

The reverse is true for people who short stocks: Their upside comes when the stock price falls.

Why It Matters

Upside is the fundamental motive for making any investment. The size of the upside, of course, varies with the investment -- and with the risk associated with that investment. Higher-risk investments generally have more upside; low-risk investments generally have less upside and are thus primarily concerned with preserving the value of the original investment.

Ultimately, expected upside is based on estimates and educated guesses. No analyst or investor can predict the future, thus making upside inherently unpredictable.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of upside

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a part of something that is good or desirable : an advantage or benefit



English Language Learners Definition of upside (Entry 2 of 2)

: on or against the side of (something)

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More from Merriam-Webster on upside

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with upside

Nglish: Translation of upside for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of upside for Arabic Speakers

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