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See also: Upright



From Middle English upright, uppryght, upriht, from Old English upriht (upright; erect), from Proto-Germanic *upprehtaz, equivalent to up- +‎ right. Cognate with Saterland Frisian apgjucht (upright), West Frisian oprjocht (upright), Dutch oprecht (upright), German Low German uprecht (upright), German aufrecht (upright), Swedish upprätt (upright), Icelandic uppréttur (upright).


  • IPA(key): /ˈʌpɹaɪt/
  • (file)


upright (comparative more upright, superlative most upright)

  1. Vertical; erect
    I was standing upright, waiting for my orders.
    • 1608, William Shakespeare, The merry Deuill of Edmonton, introduction, lines 1-4:
      Fab[ell]: What meanes the tolling of this fatall chime, // O what a trembling horror ſtrikes my hart! // My ſtiffned haire ſtands vpright on my head, // As doe the briſtles of a porcupine.
    • 1782, Fanny Burney, Cecilia; or, Memoirs of an Heiress, volume V, Book X, chapter X: “A Termination”, page 372
      Supported by pillows, ſhe ſat almoſt upright.
    • 2006, Neil A. Campbell, Biology: concepts & connections, page 404:
      Upright posture evolved well before an enlarged brain in hominids.
  2. In its proper orientation; not overturned.
    My brother didn't get angry when his son knocked over the lamp; he simply called the boy over and helped him set it upright again.
  3. Greater in height than breadth.
  4. (figuratively) Of good morals; practicing ethical values.
  5. (of a golf club) Having the head approximately at a right angle with the shaft.


Derived terms[edit]



upright (comparative more upright, superlative most upright)

  1. In or into an upright position.
    • 2011 November 17, Hans Villarica, “A Rat's First Steps: How Humans and Other Animals Learn to Walk”, in The Atlantic[1], archived from the original on 2022-03-09:
      Human locomotion had been presumed unique because we walk upright with two legs. When investigators led by Nadia Dominici analyzed the electrical activities produced by walking toddlers, preschoolers, and adults as well as newborns that were held upright and prodded to walk along a surface, however, they saw that we essentially follow the same chain of motor commands as several other animals, including rats, cats, monkeys, and guinea fowl.
    • 2014 July 15, Will Coldwell, “Ever wanted to walk on water? Five new aquatic sports for thrill seekers”, in The Guardian[2], archived from the original on 2022-06-29:
      Those up for the ride stand upright on a small platform which shoots a powerful jet of water downwards, sending the attached board – which has in the past carried the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio – up into the air.
    • 2016 September 16, “Choking risk for baby-led weaning no different than spoon-feeding”, in CBC News[3], archived from the original on 2022-11-19:
      For instance, parents were strongly encouraged to delay the introduction of complementary foods to six months when infants were able to sit upright and feed themselves safely.



upright (plural uprights)

  1. Any vertical part of a structure.
    • 1942, Reuben Swinburne Clymer, The Philosophy of Fire, page 64:
      On the change in architectural forms from the pyramidal to the obeliscar, the fires were transferred from the altars, or cubes, to the summits of the typical uprights, or towers; []
    1. (sports) A goal post.
      • 2011 January 5, Mark Ashenden, “Wolverhampton 1 - 0 Chelsea”, in BBC[4]:
        Chelsea improved, with Salomon Kalou denied by goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and Didier Drogba hitting the upright.
    2. (slang) A leg
  2. A word clued by the successive initial, middle, or final letters of the cross-lights in a double acrostic or triple acrostic.
  3. (informal) An upright piano.
  4. (informal) An upright arcade game cabinet.
    • 2013, Jon Peddie, The History of Visual Magic in Computers, page 181:
      The video arcade machines are typically in stand up arcade cabinets, although some have been built as tables. The uprights have a monitor and controls in front and players insert coins or tokens into the machines to play the game.
  5. Short for upright vacuum cleaner.
  6. (obsolete, hunting, dialect, Britain) The tips of the antlers of a young deer.


Related terms[edit]




upright (third-person singular simple present uprights, present participle uprighting, simple past and past participle uprighted)

  1. (transitive) To set upright or stand back up (something that has fallen).