Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To hold aloft; raise: upheld the banner proudly.
  • transitive v. To prevent from falling or sinking; support.
  • transitive v. To maintain or affirm against opposition. See Synonyms at support.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

Etymologies

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

Examples

  • Willingly abusing power to break the fundamental laws of the Constitution, a document that our elected officials are SWORN to uphold, is treason.

    McCain: CIA secrecy story just beginning

  • This latest incident in Afghanistan shows just how far the country has to go in resolving their attitudes toward women and free speech, and the democracy we struggle to uphold from the Taliban is scarcely any better at all.

    2008 February 06 « Unambiguously Ambidextrous

  • WIth the departure of Darth Cheney, America will again uphold the rule of law at home and not the petty rule of an oligarch-tyrant who believed “l’etat c’est moi” was the policy for both 300 million Americans as well as untold countless illegally-detained and - tortured overseas in his gulags. —

    And the Winner Is … - The Caucus Blog - NYTimes.com

  • However, when I became Circleman of Varagog, like my father before me, I gave my word to uphold the will of the Inner Circle.

    Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation

  • Noa - how can you "uphold" your claim when it is transparently false?

    John Terry’s sacking as England captain tells us something interesting...

  • It is also not for us to decide the Charlottesville should "uphold" the Constitution either.

    Council to Consider Anti-PATRIOT Resolution at cvillenews.com

  • And in this way, every other minute some actor or actress would approach Dobek, who solemnly promised to "uphold" them all.

    Komediantka. English

  • Now, in a deep recession, all of the sudden he wants to "uphold" the law!

    News for Opelika-Auburn News

  • Seoul's Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported that Kim ordered senior officials at the State Security Department in March to "uphold" his youngest son as head of the agency, while doling out foreign-made luxury cars to the officials as gifts.

    CBC | Top Stories News

  • South Korea's Dong-a IIbo newspaper reported on Wednesday that the elder Kim visited the headquarters of the State Security Department in March, along with his 26-year-old son, Kim Jong Un, and told agency leaders to "uphold" his third son as head of the department, South Korea's Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported citing an unnamed source.

    IBTimes.com RSS Feed - Politics & Policy

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