up·​hold | \ (ˌ)əp-ˈhōld How to pronounce uphold (audio) \
upheld\ (ˌ)əp-​ˈheld How to pronounce uphold (audio) \; upholding

Definition of uphold

transitive verb

1a : to give support to
b : to support against an opponent
2a : to keep elevated
b : to lift up

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Other Words from uphold

upholder noun

Choose the Right Synonym for uphold

support, uphold, advocate, back, champion mean to favor actively one that meets opposition. support is least explicit about the nature of the assistance given. supports waterfront development uphold implies extended support given to something attacked. upheld the legitimacy of the military action advocate stresses urging or pleading. advocated prison reform back suggests supporting by lending assistance to one failing or falling. refusing to back the call for sanctions champion suggests publicly defending one unjustly attacked or too weak to advocate his or her own cause. championed the rights of children

Examples of uphold in a Sentence

He took an oath to uphold the Constitution. They have a responsibility to uphold the law. The Court of Appeals upheld his conviction.
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Recent Examples on the Web Honoring our values and making the changes to uphold them with integrity requires courage and a true sense of purpose. Mark Samuel, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 And those with rights are able to uphold them, and those with responsibilities cannot avoid them. Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2021 But the Texas law, and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it, have brought the topic back to the forefront of the campaign. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 8 Sep. 2021 But leaders that use cultish language deliberately use thought-terminating clichés to discourage feedback or pushback, isolate their followers, and uphold themselves as supreme authorities. Sara Petersen, Harper's BAZAAR, 26 Aug. 2021 San Jose lost in court, twice, both times before judges skeptical of the law but sworn to uphold it. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 22 June 2021 Homeowners considering an accessibility rehab should do their homework here first; the site includes an explanation of ADA and a 10-chapter guide that explains the features and elements that uphold it. Nafeesah Allen, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 June 2021 Before the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, many observers thought the court was unlikely to deem the ACA unconstitutional (Chief Justice John Roberts voted to uphold it during previous challenges in 2012 and 2015). Jenna Carlesso, courant.com, 10 Nov. 2020 Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor have voted to uphold it. Mark Sherman, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Nov. 2020

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for uphold

Time Traveler

The first known use of uphold was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near uphold



uphold the decision

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Statistics for uphold

Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Uphold.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uphold. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for uphold



English Language Learners Definition of uphold

: to support or defend (something, such as a law)
: to judge (a legal decision) to be correct : to decide not to change (a verdict)


up·​hold | \ ˌəp-ˈhōld How to pronounce uphold (audio) \
upheld\ -​ˈheld \; upholding

Kids Definition of uphold

1 : to give support to Judges swear to uphold the Constitution.
2 : to lift up


transitive verb
upheld; upholding

Legal Definition of uphold

: to judge valid : let stand uphold an award specifically : to hold constitutional uphold the practice of having religious invocations and benedictions at high school graduation ceremonies Sands v. Morongo Unified Sch. Dist., 809 P.2d 809 (1991)(dissent) uphold a statute

More from Merriam-Webster on uphold

Nglish: Translation of uphold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of uphold for Arabic Speakers


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