Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To hold aloft; raise.
  • transitive verb To prevent from falling or sinking; support.
  • transitive verb To maintain or affirm: synonym: support.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To hold up; raise or lift on high; keep raised or elevated; elevate.
  • To keep erect; keep from sinking or falling; hence, to support; sustain; maintain; keep up; keep from declining or being lost or ruined: as, to uphold a person, a decision, or a verdict.
  • To countenance; give aid to: as, to uphold a lawbreaker.
  • To warrant; vouch for.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To hold up; to lift on high; to elevate.
  • transitive verb To keep erect; to support; to sustain; to keep from falling; to maintain.
  • transitive verb To aid by approval or encouragement; to countenance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To hold up; to lift on high; to elevate.
  • verb To keep erect; to support; to sustain; to keep from falling; to maintain.
  • verb To support by approval or encouragement.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb support against an opponent
  • verb keep or maintain in unaltered condition; cause to remain or last
  • verb stand up for; stick up for; of causes, principles, or ideals

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English upholden, equivalent to up- +‎ hold. Compare Dutch ophouden ("to stop, cease, hold up"), German aufhalten ("to stop, halt, detain").

Examples

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