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From up- +‎ lift.


  • (verb) enPR: ŭp-lĭftʹ; IPA(key): /ʌpˈlɪft/
  • (adjective, noun) enPR: ŭpʹlĭft; IPA(key): /ˈʌp.lɪft/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: (verb) -ɪft


uplift (third-person singular simple present uplifts, present participle uplifting, simple past and past participle uplifted)

  1. To raise something or someone to a higher physical, social, moral, intellectual, spiritual or emotional level.
    • 1986, The Architectural Review, volume 180, page 82:
      They recognised that their free-lay properties were just right for premises where there had to be easy access to underfloor cables or where office layouts needed to be readily changed without having to uplift the carpet every time.
    • 2020 April 8, David Clough, “How the West Coast wiring war was won”, in Rail, page 62:
      At the behest of the London Midland Region, the infrastructure was built with a capability for running at up to 110mph with conventional rolling stock, as well as the raising of speed limits - such as the 60mph over Shap summit uplifted to 80mph.
    1. (science fiction) To raise (a nonsentient species) into sentience.
      • 2003, Ken MacLeod, Engine City, New York, N.Y.: Tor, →ISBN, page 79:
        —genetically uplifted the ancestors of the saurs, and culturally—at least—uplifted the kraken. We are used to thinking of these species as wise and ancient, which indeed they are, but the octopods are their 'Elder Race.'
  2. (law, of a penalty) To aggravate; to increase.
    • 2020 January 29, “Transphobic hate crime results in increased sentence for Mold teenager”, in Crown Prosecution Service[1], London: Crown Prosecution Service, retrieved 2020-01-30:
      A man who abused a Police Community Support Officer for being transgender has received an uplifted sentence at Mold Magistrates' Court... At Court the prosecutor applied for the sentence for the public order offence to be uplifted to reflect the hate crime aspect. This resulted in the Court imposing a greater penalty.
  3. (aviation, travel) To be accepted for carriage on a flight.
  4. (New Zealand) To remove (a child) from a damaging home environment by a social welfare organization.
    • 2019 May 9, “Taken by the state: Don't take my baby”, in Stuff:
      In an affidavit supporting an application for a court order to uplift the child, a social worker said there were ongoing family violence issues between the baby's mother and father.
  5. (law, Australia, transitive) To remove (a document) from its current possessor and take it into one's own possession.



uplift (countable and uncountable, plural uplifts)

  1. The act or result of uplifting (in various senses).
    • 2019 October, Tony Miles, Philip Sherratt, “EMR kicks off new era”, in Modern Railways, page 58:
      The EMR Regional timetable improvements also include a significant uplift in Sunday services.
    • 2021 February 10, “Network News: Additional funds enable preparatory work for Ashington reopening”, in RAIL, number 924, page 8:
      This means that while initial funding will come from the public purse, landowners along the route will eventually pay back a share of the uplift in land values created by the new line.
  2. (geology) A tectonic upheaval, especially one that takes place in the process of mountain building.
    • 1971, George Finiel Adams, Jerome Wyckoff, Landforms, page 143:
      Recent uplift of the Maine and Oregon coasts has not been enough to "undrown" the larger valleys; the shorelines are still submergent.
  3. (transport) The picking up and loading of goods to be transported by a mover.
  4. (colloquial) A brassiere that raises the breasts.
  5. (law) An increase in a fine or penalty due to aggravating circumstances.
    • 2020, David Begg, Economics for Business, page 148:
      The CMA fined the companies involved £3.4 million, which included uplifts for director level involvement.

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