verb (used with object), upheld, upholding.
to support or defend, as against opposition or criticism: He fought the duel to uphold his family's honor.
to keep up or keep from sinking; support: Stout columns upheld the building's heavy roof. Her faith upheld her in that time of sadness.
to lift upward; raise: The pilgrims upheld their eyes and thanked heaven for their safe journey.
to upholster.
to maintain in good condition; take care of.

1175–1225; Middle English up holden. See up-, hold

upholder, noun

1. See support.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
uphold (ʌpˈhəʊld)
vb , -holds, -holding, -held
1.  to maintain, affirm, or defend against opposition or challenge
2.  to give moral support or inspiration to
3.  rare to support physically
4.  to lift up

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., "support, sustain," from up + hold (v.). Cf. O.Fris. upholda, M.Du. ophouden, Ger. aufhalten.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
One cannot realistically uphold two contradictory opinions at the same time.
Freed from the need to uphold a gold-price parity, these countries could lower
  interest rates and so stimulate spending.
As official representatives of their governments, diplomats were obliged to
  uphold the policies of their countries.
Results from a second experiment uphold the observation that neutrinos are
  moving faster than the speed of light.
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