follow Dictionary.com

Denotation vs. Connotation

upstage

[uhp-steyj] /ˈʌpˈsteɪdʒ/
adverb
1.
on or toward the back of the stage.
adjective
2.
of, relating to, or located at the back of the stage.
3.
haughtily aloof; supercilious.
verb (used with object), upstaged, upstaging.
4.
to overshadow (another performer) by moving upstage and forcing the performer to turn away from the audience.
5.
to outdo professionally, socially, etc.
6.
to behave snobbishly toward.
noun
7.
the rear half of the stage.
8.
any stage position to the rear of another.
Origin of upstage
1905-1910
1905-10; up- + stage
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for upstage
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Single rose-coloured corduroy curtain for archway up R. hung on upstage side of arch.

    Mr. Pim Passes By Alan Alexander Milne
  • Few are native-born New Yorkers, and scarcely any of them go around with their noses in the air in an "upstage Eastern manner."

    If You Don't Write Fiction Charles Phelps Cushing
  • A similar door, opening into the bedroom of the shack, upstage right.

  • upstage, burned a driftwood fire in a low hearth of rough bricks; Judge Tiffany sat there, in a spindle-backed chair, reading.

    The Readjustment Will Irwin
British Dictionary definitions for upstage

upstage

/ˈʌpˈsteɪdʒ/
adverb
1.
on, at, or to the rear of the stage
adjective
2.
of or relating to the back half of the stage
3.
(informal) haughty; supercilious; aloof
verb (transitive)
4.
to move upstage of (another actor), thus forcing him to turn away from the audience
5.
(informal) to draw attention to oneself from (someone else); steal the show from (someone)
6.
(informal) to treat haughtily
noun
7.
the back half of the stage
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for upstage

1918 (adj.), 1921 (v.); the notion is of drawing attention to oneself (and away from a fellow actor) by moving upstage -- to the rear of the stage -- so that the other actor must face away from the audience. The noun upstage "back of the stage" is recorded from 1870.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for upstage

up one's sleeve

Related Terms

ace up one's sleeve

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for upstage

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for upstage

10
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for upstage