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[uhp-hohld] /ʌpˈhoʊld/
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.
  1. to upholster.
  2. to maintain in good condition; take care of.
Origin of uphold
1175-1225; Middle English up holden. See up-, hold
Related forms
upholder, noun
1. See support. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for uphold
  • 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.
  • The group also found that public officials were not being penalized for failing to uphold the laws on the books.
  • And education with character means giving teachers the protection they need to uphold standards.
  • Professors are likely to be expected to uphold these principles.
  • In these times of shrinking cultural budgets, the city must uphold its commitment to maintaining its historical monuments.
  • And so for the time being, peace is exactly what it'll uphold.
  • The marriage contract is signed, but the couple makes a conscious choice each day to uphold their commitment and vows.
British Dictionary definitions for uphold


verb (transitive) -holds, -holding, -held
to maintain, affirm, or defend against opposition or challenge
to give moral support or inspiration to
(rare) to support physically
to lift up
Derived Forms
upholder, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for uphold

early 13c., "support, sustain," from up + hold (v.). Cf. Old Frisian upholda, Middle Dutch ophouden, German aufhalten. Related: Upheld; upholding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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