up the stairs; to or on an upper floor.
Informal. in the mind: to be a little weak upstairs.
to or at a higher level of authority: You may have to take the matter upstairs.
Military Slang. at or to a higher level in the air.
Also, upstair. of, pertaining to, or situated on an upper floor: an upstairs window; an upstairs apartment.
noun, plural upstairs.
(usually used with a singular verb) an upper story or stories; the part of a building or house that is above the ground floor: The upstairs of this house is entirely rented.
a higher command or level of authority: We can't take action till we have approval from upstairs.
kick upstairs, to promote (a person) to a higher position, usually having less authority, in order to be rid of him or her.

1590–1600; up- + stairs Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
upstairs (ˈʌpˈstɛəz)
1.  up the stairs; to or on an upper floor or level
2.  informal to or into a higher rank or office
3.  informal in the mind: a little weak upstairs
4.  informal kick upstairs to promote to a higher rank or position, esp one that carries less power
5.  a.  an upper floor or level
 b.  (as modifier): an upstairs room
6.  informal, old-fashioned (Brit) Compare downstairs the masters and mistresses of a household collectively, esp of a large house

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

1590s (adj.), from up + stairs (see stair). The noun is first attested 1872. Meaning "characteristic of upstairs life" (in private rooms of a household, as opposed to servants' quarters) is recorded from 1942.
"He [Halifax] had said he had known many kicked down stairs, but he never knew any kicked up stairs before." [Gilbert Burnet, supplement to "History of My own Time," from his original memoirs, c.1697]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see kick upstairs.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
But walk upstairs to the second floor, and the ancient corpses on display seem
  to tell a different story.
It had three rooms on the first floor and sleeping lofts upstairs.
He then places the seedlings under fluorescent lights upstairs in what he calls
  his pumpkin room.
Out on the street, witnesses described what they had seen upstairs when several
  protesters tried to enter the hearing room.
Idioms & Phrases
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