upstream

adverb or adjective

up·​stream ˈəp-ˈstrēm How to pronounce upstream (audio)
1
: in the direction opposite to the flow of a stream
2
: in or to a position within the production stream closer to manufacturing processes
make most of its money upstream, selling cheap crude … to refineries John Quirt
3
biochemistry : toward the beginning of a series of cellular processes : preceding a linked molecular event occurring in a sequence
Many signaling pathways possess intrinsic negative feedback by which a downstream event in a pathway turns off an upstream event. Harvey Lodish et al.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Bear Creek is very clean thanks to little, if any farm runoff upstream, Ormiston said. Peter Krouse, cleveland, 22 Nov. 2022 But the dams, constructed between 1918 and 1962, essentially cut the river in half and prevent salmon from reaching spawning grounds upstream. Gillian Flaccus, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Nov. 2022 But the dams, constructed between 1918 and 1962, essentially cut the river in half and prevent salmon from reaching spawning grounds upstream. Gillian Flaccus, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Nov. 2022 Many visitors start from the Temple of Sinawava via the Riverside Walk and head upstream in the river before turning around and hiking back to the starting point. Amiee White Beazley, Travel + Leisure, 17 Apr. 2021 Flows from the creek no longer reach the Verde River, due to the effects of climate change and use by new residents upstream. Joan Meiners, The Arizona Republic, 16 Nov. 2022 The study, published in Nature Communications, is based on mountain rivers in Colorado and found that beavers' dams raise water levels upstream. People Staff, Peoplemag, 10 Nov. 2022 Droughts over the years have threatened the water supply of Philadelphia, and New York has been forced by courts to release water from its Delaware reservoirs to prevent the river’s salt line from creeping upstream to Philadelphia’s intake pipes. Robert Sullivan, The New Republic, 10 Nov. 2022 Funding could also make a difference further upstream, by subsidizing psychotherapeutic education. WIRED, 28 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1681, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of upstream was in 1681

Dictionary Entries Near upstream

Cite this Entry

“Upstream.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upstream. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

upstream

adverb or adjective

up·​stream ˈəp-ˈstrēm How to pronounce upstream (audio)
: at or toward the beginning of a stream : against the current
salmon swimming upstream

Medical Definition

upstream

adverb or adjective

up·​stream ˈəp-ˈstrēm How to pronounce upstream (audio)
1
: in a direction along a molecule of DNA or RNA opposite to that in which transcription and translation take place and toward the end having a phosphate group attached to the position labeled 5′ in the terminal nucleotide
… stretches of DNA upstream of genes—are known as promoters. Matt Ridley, Time
compare downstream sense 1
2
: toward the beginning of series of cellular processes : preceding a linked molecular event occurring in a sequence
It's equally important to focus on additional mechanisms that are upstream of amyloid formation and mechanisms downstream that are involved in the actual degenerative processes within neurons. Marc Tessier-Lavigne, quoted in Science

More from Merriam-Webster on upstream

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