upward mobility


Definition of upward mobility

: the capacity or facility for rising to a higher social or economic position

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Other Words from upward mobility

upwardly mobile adjective

Examples of upward mobility in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Like young men from poor families throughout the world, Soleimani achieved upward mobility by joining the military. Karim Sadjadpour, Time, "Why the U.S. Assassination of Soleimani is a Windfall for Iran's Mullahs," 9 Jan. 2020 These can’t both be true—if the United States were a classless society, there would be no need for upward mobility. John Patrick Leary, The New Republic, "What We Talk About When We Talk About the Middle Class," 22 Nov. 2019 North Carolina The Tar Heels continue to show upward mobility in Mack Brown’s second tour of duty in Chapel Hill. Scott Keepfer, USA TODAY, "ACC power rankings: Clemson remains No. 1, but there is new No. 2 after Week 2 games," 9 Sep. 2019 That progress narrative, when upward mobility was more widespread, supported the American Dream. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 12 Oct. 2019 And indeed, the Williams family lives every day — church, work, sports, school — as a model of upward mobility and black excellence. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "Festival sensation Waves channels family drama with maximal style: EW review," 13 Nov. 2019 Now the practice of splitting responsibilities with a colleague has become more likely to lead to upward mobility and shared promotions, rather than stalling out. Fortune, "One Silicon Valley Giant Is Still Refusing to Disclose Its Gender Pay Data," 14 Nov. 2019 Only in America would my hard work, tenacity and grit transform into a tool of upward mobility. NBC News, "Daniela Pierre-Bravo: This is what a Dreamer looks like," 12 Nov. 2019 Wilson thinks that upward mobility has come at enormous cost. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Here’s how this August Wilson play at Everyman Theatre mirrors life in Baltimore today," 31 Oct. 2019

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

1949, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for upward mobility

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The first known use of upward mobility was in 1949

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Statistics for upward mobility

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Upward mobility.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upward%20mobility. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with upward mobility

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about upward mobility

Comments on upward mobility

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


not to be intimidated or subdued

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