Main definitions of up in US English:

: up1UP2



  • 1Toward a higher place or position.

    ‘he jumped up’
    ‘two of the men hoisted her up’
    ‘the curtain went up’
    • ‘She put the phone back up to her ear.’
    • ‘After flying for about 20 miles, I finally got it up to 1000 feet, cruising along at a nice 110 knots.’
    • ‘I wouldn't want to be up on deck in the sort of weather that they had when they hit the reef.’
    • ‘Mercifully, the sail contraption collapsed and fell overboard before I even got it up.’
    • ‘We should be up on that roof shouting that Musselburgh is the best small racecourse in the country.’
    • ‘How can you imagine what it is to be up on stage performing these songs?’
    • ‘It was a really fantastic feeling to be up on the podium.’
    • ‘Generally speaking, the biggest expense for a satellite is getting it up there.’
    • ‘Bob had promised that this time he'd be up on stage with him.’
    • ‘He would be up on his feet thumping, and telling us that repeal was the option.’
    • ‘A large, heavy dog jumping up on people can be dangerous to young children and even to some adults.’
    • ‘Drive the ball into the lane rather than lifting it up and onto the lane.’
    • ‘Tell us what it is like to be up on that podium with that crowd just going wild and cheering for you?’
    • ‘It just felt so good to be up on stage and have people cheering for me!’
    up, upward, uphill, towards a higher level, to the top
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Upstairs.
      ‘she made her way up to bed’
      • ‘He came over to say, ‘I'm going up now. Room 205’.’
      • ‘She had fallen asleep in the chair after supper and had gone straight up to bed at midnight.’
      • ‘Do you want to come up to my room and watch TV?’
    2. 1.2 (of the sun) visible in the sky after daybreak.
      ‘the sun was already up when they set off’
      • ‘Once the sun came up the civilians brought tea out for the soldiers and gave them water.’
      • ‘At 5:30 it's light, and by 6 the sun is up and making the forest glow.’
      • ‘The sun was up and the sky was clear.’
    3. 1.3 Expressing movement toward or position in the north.
      ‘I drove up to Detroit’
      • ‘On Friday, Jimmy and I are driving up to Yorkshire to attend a wedding.’
      • ‘They went up north for the day, to Duluth, probably to see Lake Superior.’
      • ‘John said he was filming up in Canada and had a part with one or two lines in it for me.’
      • ‘I was supposed to be up on the East coast somewhere, probably getting over the gig in Whakatane last night.’
    4. 1.4 To or at a place perceived as higher.
      ‘going for a walk up to the stores’
      • ‘We strolled up to Argyll Street and had lunch at Garfunkels.’
      • ‘You're supposed to be up at the house fixing my phone.’
      • ‘I went past the station taxi rank yesterday and I couldn't get near it so I went up to town and it was the same story.’
    5. 1.5as exclamation Used as a command to a soldier or an animal to stand up and be ready to move or attack.
      ‘up, boys, and at 'em’
      • ‘All up! Ship out in ten!’
      • ‘Let's go, up and at 'em.’
    6. 1.6 (of food that has been eaten) regurgitated from the stomach.
      ‘I was sick and vomited up everything’
      • ‘The cat just sicked up some grass on the cream carpet.’
      • ‘Patients are unable to control bowel and bladder functions, and some bring up their meal right in the middle of feeding.’
      • ‘He threw up behind a mimosa tree in the woods back of Patty's.’
  • 2At or to a higher level of intensity, volume, or activity.

    ‘she turned the volume up’
    ‘liven up the graphics’
    ‘U.S. environmental groups had been stepping up their attack on GATT’
    • ‘The event was brightened up by a cultural programme by the students which was well presented and appreciated.’
    • ‘In June, hotels were reporting business to be up on last year.’
    • ‘To start with, the level of demand goes up unpredictably.’
    • ‘Turn the lights down and the sound up.’
    • ‘The wind picked up from the west for the first time in ages, belting down the hill and rattling the windows.’
    • ‘Man, something must really be in the air lately, because the hate mail is up considerably at my job too.’
    1. 2.1 At or to a higher price, value, or rank.
      ‘sales are up 22.8 percent at $50.2 million’
      ‘unemployment is up and rising’
      • ‘He added: ‘Our pack is up there with the best in the division.’’
      • ‘Company cars are set to be taxed differently from April 2002 but the tax trend is up.’
      • ‘The school's English and maths scores are down on last year but the science score is iup.’
      • ‘Where people live is the key to a long-lasting marriage, according to a new survey on divorce rates in Britain, and the seaside resort is up there at the top of the list.’
      • ‘It expects sales to be up on last years revenues of $341 million.’
      • ‘Whale numbers overall throughout the season tend to be up on the previous year as well.’
      • ‘The 2005 RAC Report on Motoring, launched today, reveals the number breaking the limit is up almost 10 per cent on a year ago.’
      • ‘Revenue may be up on short-haul flights for the first time in a long time, but BA knows it can never transform itself into a low-frills carrier.’
    2. 2.2 Winning or at an advantage by a specified margin.
      ‘we came away 300 bucks up on the evening’
      ‘there they were in the fourth quarter, up by 11 points’
      • ‘At 14% the party is up a massive nine points since 1999 and looks like winning seats on all four Dublin councils.’
      • ‘It's now one of the top 20 companies on the Australian Stock Exchange and its share price has gone up by over 70%.’
      • ‘Louth got back on top and four unanswered points put them two up with ten minutes to go.’
      apart, up, in two
      View synonyms
  • 3To the place where someone is.

    ‘Dot didn't hear Mrs. Parvis come creeping up behind her’
    • ‘We burst out of the car, just as the bus came up behind us, and said our quick goodbyes.’
    • ‘He was on his own at a table eating when two guys went up to him.’
    • ‘He was talking with his client outside the courtroom when a witness rushed up and attacked his client.’
    • ‘A moment later Nikki and Sandra drove up in a van, followed by Pete in his car.’
    • ‘He played with the very simple philosophy of not letting the ball get past him and getting it up to his forwards as quickly as possible.’
  • 4Toward or in the capital or a major city.

    ‘give me a ring when you're up in London’
    • ‘The girls will go up to Brisbane every Sunday to do classes and prepare for a performance.’
    • ‘Tomorrow I'm up in London again for a planning meeting.’
    1. 4.1British At or to a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge.
      ‘they were up at Cambridge about the same time’
      • ‘I'd had one year up at Cambridge and then volunteered for the Army.’
      • ‘‘Were you up at Oxford yourself?’ inquires a voice so precise it could only be an Oxford don's.’
      • ‘He went up to Cambridge University at 14, where he followed the standard undergraduate course of the day.’
  • 5Into the desired or a proper condition.

    ‘the mayor agreed to set up a committee’
    • ‘He said a few years ago the residents repaired the road and got it up to standard.’
    • ‘Zoe took out each and every nail polish container and lined them up in front of her.’
    • ‘The scheduled repairs are essential and it will take 14 days of intensive work to get it up to the required standard.’
    • ‘Unless you tidy up, everyone can see the gruesome jumble of cables.’
    • ‘Talk to your doctor about setting up a smart diet and exercise program.’
    • ‘It's going to take at least a year, though, to get it up and going.’
    1. 5.1 So as to be finished or closed.
      ‘I've got a bit of paperwork to finish up’
      ‘I zipped up my sweater’
      • ‘There are just a couple of things we want to finish up.’
      • ‘They are actually going on holiday tomorrow night and would like if possible to get it signed up before they go.’
      • ‘I think we can probably wrap this up before we go to lunch because I have just a few questions.’
      • ‘We drank the coffee pot dry and ate up all the snack stuff that his wife had put out for us.’
      • ‘Why is it that when I wear a shirt with the collar buttoned up, I look as though I have forgotten to put on a tie?’
  • 6Into a happy mood.

    ‘I don't think anything's going to cheer me up’
    • ‘Daniel has cheered up since last week and is feeling confident about next season.’
    • ‘Lester actually brightened up at the idea.’
  • 7Out of bed.

    ‘Miranda hardly ever got up for breakfast’
    ‘he had been up for hours’
    • ‘Tony Hawk also thought it was way too early to be up on a Sunday morning.’
    • ‘I don't think I'd ever known Lee to be up before eleven at the earliest and it was only half nine.’
    • ‘After dinner, we went to bed so we could be up on time the next morning.’
  • 8Displayed on a bulletin board or other publicly visible site.

    ‘he put up posters around the city’
    • ‘As a senior I will have the whole year to develop one cohesive art show that will be up on display for a week.’
    • ‘As I'm a singer and actor the pressure is on when your face is up on the poster for musicals.’
    • ‘So that exclusive should be up on the website within hours of it being mentioned on the blog.’
    • ‘Yorkshire fans are advised to buy their tickets in advance because the ‘sold out’ signs are likely to be up on the day.’
    • ‘Don't know when it'll be up on the site, but at least I'm writing it now.’
    • ‘Posters were put up around college.’
    • ‘My first post for them is up, and one of the commenters has already written, ‘I hope many of your close relatives get a serious head injury.’’
    • ‘Hopefully a copy of it should be up on the show's site when it goes live, so I'll listen in if I can.’
    • ‘Keith's poems will be up on the site later in the week - but if you are keen to learn more about the man and his inspirations, click on the link above.’
    • ‘A notice pinned up at the cemetery gates stated that people had to take the wreaths away or they would be removed.’
  • 9(of sailing) against the current or the wind.

    • ‘Back in the cockpit he decided it was time to tack, but found the yacht would not point up into the wind.’
    • ‘Because he brought the sail up into the wind, the wind caught it and flipped it straight back onto the other side, and down on top of him.’
    1. 9.1 (of a ship's helm) moved so that the rudder is to leeward.
      • ‘We saw a square-rigged vessel in full sail close to us, so close that we had to strike sail to avoid running foul of her, while they too put the helm hard up to let us pass.’
  • 10Baseball
    At bat.

    ‘every time up, he had a different stance’
    • ‘In the ninth, I was scheduled to be the fourth man up.’
    • ‘They got a man in scoring position with two out and Buddy Kerr up.’


  • 1From a lower to a higher point on (something); upward along.

    ‘she climbed up a flight of steps’
    • ‘I don't know where we were, but I wanted to climb up a really steep hill - which seemed to take ages.’
    • ‘We picked our way up one side of the ridge, and I found a spot where we could spend the long night ahead.’
    • ‘He was assigned to work as an Inspecteur des Finances at the French Finance Ministry in 1971 and rose up the hierarchy.’
    • ‘She pushed her glasses further up the bridge of her nose.’
    • ‘Calleri is one of several Argentines moving steadily up the rankings.’
    • ‘She shrieked with laughter as they raced up the stairs.’
    1. 1.1 From one end to another of (a street or other area), not necessarily on an upward slope.
      ‘bicycling up Pleasant Avenue toward Maywood Avenue’
      ‘walking up the street’
      • ‘He was returning from visiting his mother further up Silchester Road when the evacuation began and was unable to get back to his home.’
      • ‘He's done one job for Redwood City, and one for Emeryville that's just a few blocks up Park Avenue from his office.’
      • ‘I lived just up the street from them.’
    2. 1.2 To a higher part of (a river or stream), away from the sea.
      ‘a cruise up the Rhine’
      • ‘We think it is a realistic proposition to bring a crossing between Kent and Southend, and eventually up the Thames to London.’
      • ‘Last summer I made a trip up the Amazon basin in Peru.’
      • ‘In 1866 the U.S.S. General Sherman sailed up the Taedong River to Pyongyang.’


  • 1attributive Directed or moving toward a higher place or position.

    ‘the up escalator’
    • ‘I slipped one of the attendants a tip, then I headed for the up escalator and the station.’
    • ‘You can press the up and down arrows repeatedly to cycle through the commands that you've already typed in.’
    • ‘It gets kind of clumsy when the path leads down the screen and you have the press the up key but that's a relatively minor quibble.’
    • ‘If the fish's bulk is allowing it to take line against the drag on the up stroke of the pump, slow the action down so that the fish is not winning any line at all.’
  • 2predicative At an end.

    ‘his contract was up in three weeks’
    ‘time's up’
    • ‘Despite people suggesting my time is up as manager of Manchester United I am determined to carry on.’
    • ‘He wants to move back east and his lease is up at the end of September, making this my last chance to visit.’
    • ‘Having spent several years at the club his contract is up next summer.’
    • ‘The mobile providers expect you to stay loyal even after your contract is up, so they make their money back in the long run.’
    • ‘‘I want people to ignore the band and sing ‘sack the band’ at every song they do - just harmless fun things to let them know that their time is up.’’
    • ‘But he has been an MLA for almost five years, and he has yet to have done something for his constituents - perhaps a constituency meeting before his term is up.’
    • ‘I'm going to move out of this house when my contract is up next year.’
    • ‘I've got a court order here and it says your time is up.’
    • ‘Many pension experts believe most companies will have to tear up their existing final salary arrangements before the year is up.’
  • 3predicative (of a computer system or industrial process) functioning properly.

    ‘the system is now up’
    • ‘You might as well say that the publishing industry will fail now that the internet is up, and I don't really see that happening anytime soon.’
    • ‘My usually reliable comment system is moving to a different host and should be up by the weekend.’
    • ‘After the system is up, we use Smaart Live to look for minor problems.’
  • 4predicative In a cheerful mood; ebullient.

    ‘the mood here is resolutely up’
    • ‘There were a few revelers, but really, the mood is up right now.’
    • ‘The likes of John Mullane and my own brother Eoin are totally new to the scene and their confidence is up.’
    • ‘I'm really up and excited.’
    • ‘You know the geek mood is up when attendees stop talking about making rent this month, and resume predicting the date of the Singularity.’
    • ‘Learn what makes you feel ‘up’, what relaxes you, what makes you swim fast.’
  • 5(of a jockey) in the saddle.

  • 6Physics
    Denoting a flavor of quark having a charge of +2/3. Protons and neutrons are thought to be composed of combinations of up and down quarks.

    • ‘In the weak interaction of radioactivity it has been known for many years that the neutrino turns into an electron or that an up quark transmutes into a down.’

nounPlural ups

  • A period of good fortune.

    ‘you can't have ups all the time in football’
    • ‘Don't you ever think, Tammy Faye, that your life, while it has had a lot of ups, has been a series of heartbreaks?’
    • ‘It has seen more downs than ups in the 24 years of its existence.’
    • ‘There have been a few casualties, a few ups with the downs.’
    • ‘But really, taking the ups with the downs, life in Ireland has improved considerably since the 1950s.’
    • ‘The club has had more downs than ups over the years but that indomitable spirit that it is renowned for has lived proudly on.’
    • ‘Soderbergh has Clooney and wife relive many of their most difficult moments, the ups, downs, guilt trips, bad karma and lamentable interludes.’
    • ‘Hassett is now one the senior players on the Kerry side, but despite almost as many downs as ups with the team he remains as committed as ever.’
    • ‘Plus, a big year for Bo Bice, filled with ups - a new baby, a new album - and downs - emergency surgery.’
    • ‘He hadn't been dealt life's best hand it has to be said, and he knew more downs than ups in troubled times.’
    • ‘We set high standards, and although you have to take the ups with the downs, we do feel a responsibility to the Borders public.’
    • ‘The Bluth family, the center of this half-hour show, has had a lot of ups, but now the downs have arrived, bigtime.’

verbupped, upping, ups

  • 1up and do somethinginformal no object Do something abruptly or boldly.

    ‘she upped and left him’
    • ‘Eventually I just upped and left at 17, went to London to find musicians to play with.’
    • ‘After finishing their A-levels the band upped and left for London.’
    • ‘Cutting, trimming, finishing, pressing: it was taxing work, though not for the bosses who upped and relocated their operations to other sites nearby in order to escape the clutches of the VAT man.’
    • ‘Now, the batteries in my alarm clock have just upped and died too.’
    • ‘One track and I would have let it pass but they boogied on so at track four I upped and dressed to go knock on their door.’
    • ‘After one particular row Iris upped and went to France to pick grapes.’
    • ‘Suddenly they upped and moved, telling neighbours that they were emigrating to the US.’
    • ‘She was very distressed and told me the family had upped and gone to England and she was very fearful for the safety of the two children.’
    • ‘He claims he upped and ran, first to Kildare and then to Waterford as a result of the pressure and the rumours of a €10,000 price on his head.’
    • ‘Then one day she just upped and bit the hand that fed her.’
    • ‘Then we upped and left, diverting to avoid a heath fire.’
    • ‘A few months later, the guy who owned and operated the company upped and vanished to avoid a legion of creditors, and has not been seen since.’
    • ‘When the pain inflicted by his bullying schoolfellow exceeded the pain-pleasure ratio, he upped and ran away from Repton.’
    • ‘Anyway, housemate Big Al has upped and left for pastures green.’
    • ‘She just upped and left Slovakia, came here knowing no-one, and now she works at Macey's!’
    brighten, brighten up, lighten, become light, light up, break, clear up, become bright, become brighter, become lighter, become fine, become sunny
    View synonyms
  • 2with object Cause (a level or amount) to be increased.

    ‘capacity will be upped by 70 percent next year’
    • ‘Following the break, Mayo upped their game considerably.’
    • ‘Pension funds, hit hard by market volatility, could better protect returns by upping their long-term risk-free holdings.’
    • ‘On Monday afternoon, we'd upped that to $15 million.’
    • ‘The Government keeps changing the criteria and they are being upped again in April.’
    • ‘As it turns out she's having her basic three-channel television reception upped to a cable package in anticipation of her daughter's homecoming from the hospital.’
    • ‘The win upped the team's win-loss record to 14-0.’
    • ‘The performance will have something for everyone, with the opening half dedicated to acoustic numbers, while the second half will see the tempo upped with a selection of rock ‘n’ roll hits.’
    • ‘My big achievement for the day was talking to my new account exec at iPowerWeb and getting my storage space upped to 3gb.’
    • ‘When the company bought the land, it upped that rent from around £1,000 a year to £3,500 a year.’
    • ‘One or two guys are clearly playing within a comfort zone and it is time they upped the pace a bit.’
    • ‘After initially planting 1.5 acres, they upped that to five acres in 2002.’
    • ‘The offer - since shamefacedly upped to $35 million - equates to what?’
    • ‘Clubs can now take four short-term and four long-term loans at any one time, with the maximum allowed in any one match upped to five.’
    • ‘Rio already earns 4.4 million a year but if reports are to be believed, he wants his 70,000 a week salary upped to 120,000.’
    • ‘If you want to make the most of your protein sources, try upping the amount of fish you take in.’
    • ‘The tempo was then upped with the arrival of Dallas Tamiara for the final few songs including the album's first single, ‘Dust’.’
    • ‘At the heart of the CR-V beats Honda's lively new 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine with power output upped in 2002 to 150 bhp.’
    • ‘While the previous version uses Intel's 800MHz FSB, the Pro release ups that to 1066MHz.’
    • ‘I think it's time to go back to the doctors and get the meds changed / upped.’
    • ‘Simply upping the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat will make a difference.’
    • ‘Raising his hand, he upped the bid to $1.1 million.’
    add to, make larger, make bigger, make greater, augment, supplement, top up, build up, enlarge, expand, extend, raise, multiply, elevate, swell, inflate
    View synonyms
  • 3with object Lift (something) up.

    ‘everybody was cheering and upping their glasses’
    • ‘She ups her stick and begins to belabour him across the shoulders.’
    1. 3.1up withWest Indian, US informal no object Raise or pick up (something)
      ‘this woman ups with a stone’
      • ‘There was another lady that came in a hurry, and would stop if we were not more than a minute; so Jim ups with a specimen, without looking at it, and it was the picture of a woman and her child.’
      • ‘Every time anybody showed himself, Earl upped with that rifle and levelled down.’
      informed about, conversant with, au fait with, up to speed on, in touch with, up with, au courant with, plugged into, familiar with, knowledgeable about, acquainted with, aware of
      View synonyms


  • be (well) up on (or in)

    • Well informed about.

      ‘he was up on the latest methods’
      • ‘When I went out there last year people really seemed to be up on racing.’
      • ‘She wanted to be be up on any news sent to them.’
      • ‘However, you two don't seem to be up on current events.’
      • ‘Even officials who would presumably be up on such issues appeared fuzzy about the central questions.’
      • ‘Anyway, you seem to be up on physics, and you seem to know what I'm saying so maybe you could help me here.’
      • ‘In this day of endless theory, top players need to be up on all important games if they are to have any hope of success.’
      well versed in, well informed about, conversant with, knowledgeable about, informed about, abreast of, apprised of, up to date on, au courant with
      View synonyms
  • it is all up with

    • informal It is the end of or there is no hope for (someone or something).

      • ‘‘I guess it is all up with me, boys,’ is what he moaned when death came.’
      • ‘Let the circulation stop for one moment and the heart stops at the same time, and it is all up with the human machine!’
      • ‘I believe that it is all up with the Union of the states; any compromise will come too late.’
      • ‘Man himself had been his greatest blunder; he had created a rival to himself; science makes men equal to God - it is all up with priests and gods when man becomes scientific!’
      • ‘If we do not run our belief about God into practical issues, it is all up with the vision God has given.’
      • ‘‘Ah, he may think so,’ said the gaoler; ‘but it is all up with him, I can tell him.’’
      • ‘He refers to California always as ‘God's country ’, and if you permit him to start his God's country line of talk, it is all up with intelligent conversation for the rest of the day.’
      • ‘No, the first time I see him, it is all up with him, I can tell you.’
      • ‘The doctors say that it is all up with the old dear unless some food is got into him.’
      • ‘Asked if he were willing to ‘concede that it is all up with the Republican Party now’ in the next election, he replied: ‘No, sir, I am not.’’
  • get it up

    • vulgar slang (of a man) achieve an erection.

  • on the up and up

    • 1informal Honest or sincere.

      • ‘Call me crazy, but this doesn't seem all on the up and up.’
      • ‘One should not confuse the former with the latter since as far as I know the latter is totally on the up and up and doesn't spam people in order to increase their userbase.’
      • ‘I repeat, the guy in charge of making sure all government contracts are on the up and up just got arrested for corruption.’
      • ‘The box never mentions this is a fake program, and there is little to show you it's not on the up and up.’
      • ‘Try to be on the up and up with people because that's going to be your blessing right there.’
      • ‘This will breathe a breath of fresh air into the moribund political and government system, and force them to be more on the up and up.’
      • ‘The company is in the process of setting up a privacy board that includes a prominent Stanford law professor and cyberlaw expert, to make sure that everything's on the up and up.’
      • ‘But assuming you do work out a way that you get paid, you do pay taxes, and everything you do is either on the up and up, or at least slips by the notice of anyone that would care.’
      • ‘If the Rebels are really on the up and up, why do they associate with criminals like Solo?’
      promising, budding, rising, coming, on the up and up, in the making, with potential, likely to succeed
      View synonyms
    • 2informal Steadily improving or becoming more successful.

      • ‘Despite dropping down a division to ply his trade, he insists he remains on the up and up.’
      • ‘The standard of play right across the board in Super League is on the up and up all the time’
      • ‘Wexford football has been on the up and up for some time now.’
      • ‘Oh yes, things seemed to be on the up and up for the Pack.’
      • ‘He came out of hospital and was on the up and up, until foot and mouth struck all around us.’
      • ‘Bob Downe is certainly on the up and up, because when you are Downe, there ain't no mountain high enough!’
      • ‘Once again that jackpot is on the up and up and now stands at 2400.’
      • ‘Citing injuries and a dip in form with key players, he is amiable but firm as he insists that things are on the up and up.’
      • ‘This is yet another indication that Bradford is on the up and up.’
      • ‘Supported by her husband Niall, the business has been on the up and up over the last number of years.’
      prosperous, affluent, wealthy, rich, well-to-do, doing well, moneyed
      flourishing, thriving, booming, buoyant, burgeoning, doing well, profitable, profit-making, moneymaking, lucrative, gainful, fruitful, solvent, bankable
      View synonyms
  • something is up

    • informal Something unusual or undesirable is happening.

      • ‘Upon landing in Dorval, I counted 18 hours without sleep, so when my phone rang wildly I knew something was up.’
      • ‘I don't know why, but I have a feeling that something's up.’
      • ‘If girls and boys are getting higher grades for doing old papers that were scoring two or three grades lower last decade, something is up.’
  • up against

    • 1Close to or in contact with.

      ‘crowds pressed up against the police barricades’
      • ‘So it was down guitars again and leaning out the window to witness the police pinning this guy up against my front door.’
      • ‘Her eyes were closed and she was propped up against the trunk of the tree.’
      • ‘Jackie was leaned up against a tree with his eyes closed and his hands on his stomach.’
      • ‘He was leaning up against the door, pressing his ear to the wood to see if she was coming to let him in.’
      • ‘When she turned into the passage I pressed myself up against the wall and held my finger over my lips.’
      • ‘He pulled me close but I freaked and found myself pushed up against my side of the car.’
      • ‘The door appeared to have a table pushed up against it, and there's rather too much noise going on in there to be healthy.’
      • ‘Later, I saw the pair of them with their noses pressed up against the back door of our neighbours.’
      • ‘An abandoned house - well, abandoned except for the cattle rubbing up against it.’
      • ‘I don't like standing in a packed out lift with people pressed right up against me.’
      touching, in contact with, close up to, up against, abutting, on, adjacent to
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1informal Confronted with or opposed by.
        ‘I began to think of what teachers are up against today’
        • ‘The letter from Mr Ritter only goes to show the problems we are up against.’
        • ‘They are playing on foreign soil, are a long way from home and will be up against a very partisan crowd.’
        • ‘Tommy did very well in a very tough category where he was up against strong competition.’
        • ‘On the day they were up against a very good side who never allowed them to play to their potential.’
        • ‘You will learn why it is so crucial that we fight on, who's on our side, and who/what we are up against.’
        • ‘After running the top dogs close, City are up against a side just a point below them.’
        • ‘When we look at what we are up against, it would be absolutely fundamental.’
        • ‘It was a tough task for the elder of the siblings, who was up against Davis Cup exponent David Sherwood.’
        • ‘You have to stay close to your opponents, especially when you are up against big names, and we did that.’
        • ‘England will be up against a degree of mental hardness which no other Test country begins to approach.’
      2. 1.2informal Facing some serious but unspecified difficulty.
        ‘they play better when they're up against it’
        • ‘People are visibly up against it, unless they're in the parallel dollar-economy.’
        • ‘Bruce, is it tough when the client is up against it media-wise?’
        • ‘Given Kildare's population, smaller counties are really up against it.’
        • ‘Suddenly, Yorkshire were up against it and there was no way back when Fellows became the first of the run out victims.’
        • ‘We'll be up against it, but it's a challenge that every player is looking forward to.’
        • ‘Regulars at the Frog Hall are up against it in their battle to save the pub.’
        • ‘We were up against it, because we had to play more than an hour with one man less.’
        • ‘Both 20, and up against it, they become friends and wind up sharing an apartment.’
        • ‘Norwich City were up against it from day one in the Premiership.’
        • ‘We didn't get the call until 2pm and we knew we would be up against it for the rest of the day.’
        destitute, poverty-stricken, impoverished, indigent, penniless, insolvent, impecunious, ruined, pauperized, without a penny to one's name, without two farthings to rub together, without two pennies to rub together
        View synonyms
  • up and about

    • No longer in bed (after sleep or an illness).

      • ‘Quite what they were doing up and about at 8.40 am I don't know.’
      • ‘By the time the sun had risen, Robert was already up and about.’
      • ‘If you are serious about photography, dawn is the time to be up and about.’
      • ‘It was too soon after the injury to be up and about.’
      • ‘She opened her door and, to her surprise, saw no one up and about.’
      • ‘I expected my mom to be up and about but I guess she went to sleep.’
      • ‘There's nothing I like better, if I'm up and about in the morning, than to bury my head in a newspaper.’
      • ‘Styles was on the mend and anxious to be up and about.’
      • ‘At least now I'm up and about, whereas I'd still be recovering if I'd had a caesarean.’
      • ‘Suffering from a mild form of insomnia, I spend a lot of time up and about in the early hours before dawn.’
  • up and down

    • 1Moving upward and downward.

      ‘bouncing up and down’
      • ‘Right-elbow freedom allows the club to swing up and down.’
      • ‘A typical toy usually combines stationary and moving staircases; the latter moves periodically up and down.’
      • ‘These strings are jerked up and down and the moving flags scare the fish and drive them into the net.’
      • ‘She closed her eyes, and her chest stopped going up and down.’
      • ‘It flew in a zigzag trajectory, up and down through the sky.’
      • ‘We followed the trail that had been made by years of climbing up and down, me tripping along the way like I usually did and sliding on the small rocks.’
      • ‘A path that tottered up and down along the ridge.’
      • ‘While tiny tots jumped up and down on the bouncing castle, other children tried their hands on games such as wheel of fortune and hitting cans.’
      • ‘Shannon kept glancing at her watch and bouncing up and down.’
      • ‘The crowd were going wild, singing along, jumping up and down, and cheering.’
    • 2To and fro.

      ‘pacing up and down in front of her desk’
      • ‘Fletcher inhaled deeply and paced up and down in front of the sink and stove.’
      • ‘Men stroll up and down strutting their stuff and surveying the scene.’
      • ‘He often paced up and down in his study in Coyoacan talking to himself…’
      • ‘Before the start the pair touched hands as they paced up and down while the medal ceremony for the men's 100m took place.’
      • ‘He began pacing up and down slowly and deliberately.’
      • ‘They had been running up and down, back and forth, slamming into each other, trying to get the ball.’
      • ‘Anny heard her in the hallway pacing up and down.’
      • ‘He paces up and down while we talk; his day is spent on the move.’
      • ‘He had a love affair for massive grocery stores - he'd wander up and down filling the cart with the best deals regardless of whether we ate or even liked the stuff.’
      • ‘He was pacing up and down, back and forth between all the computers, anxious to find something, anything!’
      1. 2.1as prepositionTo and fro along.
        ‘strolling up and down the corridor’
        • ‘Lately he'd taken to pacing relentlessly up and down the hallway in their tiny, one-bedroom flat.’
        • ‘The last ten minutes of the opening half were certainly played at a frantic pace with the ball up and down the field.’
        • ‘We walk along the sand and up and down the corridors of the building, looking for the boy.’
        • ‘Enzo and Cristina slipped into their own world as they strolled up and down the dock.’
        • ‘We brought along specialists who walked up and down the runway to take readings and measurements.’
        • ‘One is the traditional pattern of planting in which the tractor-drawn seeder is driven back and forth along the field, up and down every row.’
        • ‘I did, I couldn't sit still, I was pacing up and down the dining room alternatively exhorting and cursing our players.’
        • ‘Dyer, with his electric pace, scurried up and down the right flank, often dragging three players in his wake.’
        • ‘After a bunch of races, most of them won by Marin teams, it seems, there is a bit of a lull around here, so I walk up and down the row of club tents.’
        • ‘You only had to look at the coach skulking up and down the touchline throughout the second half to see that.’
    • 3In various places throughout.

      ‘in clubs up and down the country’
      • ‘We have guys who come along to watch youth games and pay money to travel up and down Scotland to see matches.’
      • ‘Something unusual is happening in the pubs and clubs up and down the land.’
      • ‘First there were the revelations that the council's pension fund was massively in the red, along with those of councils and businesses up and down the country.’
      • ‘Losing weight is one of the traditional New Year resolutions - health clubs up and down Britain will be rubbing their hands with glee as they wait for the usual January rush.’
      • ‘Catch DJ Lubi at Mas Fuego, Salsoul and various clubs up and down the UK.’
      • ‘Personally I follow my home county up and down the country throughout the year, as well as being an active member of my local club.’
      • ‘The band made their debut at the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival and have been booked at clubs up and down the coast ever since.’
      • ‘So rang the familiar exchange which will no doubt be ringing through many homes up and down the land again this Christmas.’
      • ‘A former schoolteacher, she shadowed us throughout a two-day stint up and down and across Yellowstone National Park.’
      • ‘We hope this will provide debate in the workplace, football grounds, pubs and clubs up and down the country.’
    • 4In varying states or moods; changeable.

      ‘my relationship with her was up and down’
      • ‘Tree were a side inspired after winning five of their first six games but a defeat on June 4 started the slide and the club have been up and down ever since.’
      • ‘But he admits his two months with the club have been up and down - particularly at home.’
      • ‘Plus he's so unpredictable-his moods are up and down.’
      • ‘My mood was incredibly up and down over the two days and his was too.’
      • ‘I'm still feeling a bit up and down, generally up though so don't worry.’
      • ‘What I listen to depends on my mood, which anyone who knows me will say is very up and down.’
      • ‘Sometimes I can be up and down in cycles throughout the same day.’
      • ‘My relationship has been up and down, but for the most part it's been good.’
      • ‘The outspoken guitarist claims his wild sibling suffers from terrible mood swings and is constantly up and down about everything in his life.’
      • ‘He has been up and down throughout the summer.’
      variable, inconstant, varying, changing, shifting, fluctuating, irregular, erratic, wavering, vacillating, inconsistent, fluid, floating, unsteady, unfixed, uneven, unstable, unsettled, turbulent, movable, mutable, chameleon-like
      View synonyms
  • up and running

    • (especially of a computer system) in operation; functioning.

      ‘the new computer is up and running’
      • ‘She is in the process of applying for cash from the Lottery Fund and hopes to see the service up and running within a year.’
      • ‘Mrs Garritt said she hoped the library would be up and running by this June after water damage to the ceiling.’
      • ‘She said their computers were down and that they would be up and running at the earliest by noon.’
      • ‘Planning permission has already been granted and it is hoped the centre will be up and running by Easter.’
      • ‘That is exactly what the industry is doing, with nearly a dozen online services now up and running.’
      • ‘This project may be up and running in the next month or so on a pilot basis to see what demand there is.’
      • ‘This scheme has been up and running for over two weeks now and is going very well.’
      • ‘It is hoped the unit will be operating by December and a second one will be up and running in Leeds next year.’
      • ‘His website is still up and running, but his telephone number is unobtainable.’
      • ‘See my previous post for more info on how to keep your computers up and running.’
      functioning, working, running, up and running, operative, in use, in action, going
      View synonyms
  • up before

    • Appearing for a hearing in the presence of.

      ‘we'll have to come up before a magistrate’
      • ‘If you were brought up before the headmaster he would poke you in the chest and you fell back.’
      • ‘They get hauled up before the courts on the weight of complaints made by their parents.’
      • ‘In London, he was hauled up before a series of high-ranking intelligence officers.’
      • ‘Are not-so-fat people to be so demonised as to be hauled up before a jury of their peers?’
      • ‘If you step over the line and steal you may well find yourself arrested and up before the magistrates.’
      • ‘Eight days later she was up before the same court to admit committing two further thefts.’
      • ‘This is the third time he has been up before a judge in less than two years.’
      • ‘They are wrecked on the Isle of Dogs, and brought up before Golding, the deputy alderman.’
  • up for

    • 1Available for.

      ‘the house next door is up for sale’
      • ‘Mr Watkins put one million of his United shares up for sale last April.’
      • ‘The company expects to be up for auction in mid-March of this year.’
      • ‘What that means, Martin, is that a lot is up for grabs.’
      • ‘The works initially appeared at a SoHo gallery in New York in October, but were not put up for sale.’
      • ‘But when an entire collection came up for sale at a downtown coin shop, I couldn't resist.’
      • ‘The kennels were spacious and secure, with coloured tags differentiating the animals who were boarding and those up for adoption.’
      • ‘So he put the company up for sale, hoping that a buyer would groom his successors better than he could.’
      • ‘A budding entrepreneur from Iowa swiped the singer's discarded water bottle at a recent concert then put it up for sale.’
      • ‘The house on the other side of them is up for sale.’
      • ‘The figurine is due to go up for sale at the Woolley & Wallis auction rooms on May 24.’
    • 2Being considered for.

      ‘he had been up for promotion’
      • ‘She was up for promotion, and this would have been her last normal assignment.’
      • ‘She was in the middle of a major campaign and she was also up for a promotion.’
      • ‘All 60 councillors are up for election.’
      • ‘Anyone putting him/her self up for public office should be, like Caesar's wife, beyond reproach.’
    • 3Due for.

      ‘his contract is up for renewal in June’
      • ‘The surcharge will come into effect immediately for new policies issued and for policies coming up for renewal.’
      • ‘But now the domain has come up for renewal, and I really don't have the time to maintain it.’
      • ‘Of the eight full-time cable/satellite news channels, seven were up for license renewal.’
      • ‘If you have a contract with the customer, you sweat bullets when it comes up for renewal.’
      • ‘But now the contract to run them is up for renewal.’
      • ‘But her career is up for one of those periodic reinventions, as what the New Statesman calls ‘a new generation of artists’ bring her work into a new context.’
      • ‘These matters are not for debate or up for discussion.’
      • ‘The contract should have been up for tender, like any spending of taxpayers' money.’
      • ‘Instead those drivers and ones with other criminal records will be assessed when their licences come up for annual renewal.’
      • ‘The lease on the auxiliary coastguard station building, where they store their equipment, is up for renewal in May.’
      a candidate for, in the running for, on the shortlist for, shortlisted for, being considered for, under consideration for, next in succession for, likely to receive, up for, ready for
      View synonyms
  • up hill and down dale

    • All over the place.

      ‘he led me up hill and down dale till my feet were dropping off’
      • ‘I've been contacting agencies and employers directly, etc and in the last month I've been up hill and down dale visiting these agencies and having interviews.’
      • ‘The contents could not be pumped up hill and down dale if the pipe were only half-full.’
      • ‘Watching the truculent teens toil up hill and down dale with huge loads strapped to their backs may get repetitive, but then suffering is a key part of reality's sadomasochistic charm.’
      • ‘But he took great pleasure in making me tramp all over the farm, up hill and down dale, and I was wearing a collar and tie.’
      • ‘He said he was not looking for sympathy for Hart who, with his family, had been ‘harassed literally up hill and down dale by some of the media’.’
      • ‘‘Back then we did what we can't do now, walking up hill and down dale,’ said 76-year-old Ron.’
      • ‘So they had to move the traffic this way and that, up hill and down dale, in order to carry on with their work and keep it ‘flowing’.’
      • ‘You can walk up hill and down dale all in the space of a few hundred metres.’
      • ‘The Hull University humanities students had enrolled in a Yorkshire Studies course and were beginning to take a scholarly journey up hill and down dale.’
      • ‘After struggling 27 kilometres up hill and down dale today, the relief is so palpable that I can almost hear all my limbs sigh in unison.’
  • up to

    • 1As far as.

      ‘I could reach just up to his waist’
      • ‘After a journey of about ten minutes we could see ahead of us about a dozen people standing up to their waists in water.’
      • ‘As he tried to walk across the mud he began to sink after just 15 metres and was quickly stuck up to his waist.’
      • ‘The flood water reached up to the middle of the car wheels, seeping into our car floor and soaking the carpet in the car.’
      • ‘The shutters were firmly closed, but, as in many old houses, they did not reach right up to the very top of the window.’
      • ‘The snow reached up to about the middle of my shins, and it was not dry snow, it was the same wet snow that had been falling the previous day and night.’
      • ‘He walked across the frozen reservoir to retrieve his football but the ice gave way, plunging Luke into the water up to his waist.’
      • ‘I had boots that reached up to my knees.’
      1. 1.1Until.
        ‘up to now I hadn't had a relationship’
        • ‘No one guessed this was possible, at least up until a month ago, but it's going to take place, like it or not.’
        • ‘It traces the painter's adult life right up until his death in a car crash in 1956.’
        • ‘Thorne received his big break years ago, but up until now has traded on his youth.’
        • ‘Sure, he thought he was Elvis, but he was a real trooper and was performing right up until the end.’
        • ‘The autumn and winter months up until the middle of December are traditionally the best time for game.’
        • ‘The events in that car make you readdress everything Ryan Phillipe's character has done up to that point.’
        • ‘If we have survived up to now what is stopping us from surviving in the future?’
        • ‘The frustrating thing is, we were doing alright up until then and were making good use of our extra player.’
        • ‘Even better than that of the Victorian painter Augustus Leopold Egg, which was my favourite name up to now.’
        • ‘You are always trying to improve and it goes on right up to the day you stop playing.’
        till, up to, up till, up until, as late as, up to the time of, up to the time that, until such time as, pending
        before, prior to, previous to, up to, up until, till, up till, earlier than, in advance of, ante-, pre-
        View synonyms
    • 2Indicating a maximum amount.

      ‘the process is expected to take up to two years’
      • ‘The Lion's Mane, Britain's largest jellyfish species, can reach up to two metres in diameter.’
      • ‘This is expected to reach up to 30 million kilowatts nationwide during peak times.’
      • ‘Supporters will have to foot the bill themselves and this could reach up to €900.’
      • ‘After that the dealer earns his profit by adding on a margin of up to a maximum of 3 per cent.’
      • ‘They cater for men and boys from the age of two upwards and have trousers and jeans up to a 62 in waist.’
      • ‘Corporations may deduct from income an amount up to the fair market value of the ecological gift.’
      • ‘She said the charity is hoping to secure up to 500,000 donor names on its Bone Marrow Register.’
      • ‘The Board have offered to make a contribution to our cost up to a maximum of £50,000.’
      • ‘In order for a game to proceed, you need at least two people connected and up to a maximum of six.’
      • ‘Fragrance on a label can indicate the presence of up to 4,000 separate ingredients.’
    • 3with negative or in questionsAs good as; good enough for.

      ‘I was not up to her standards’
      • ‘It would easily be up to the standard of our National One matches.’
      • ‘So I think that we have to say very clearly that how we started on this past week was not up to standard.’
      • ‘He clearly was not up to standard and Lawrence took full advantage of this.’
      • ‘He's good at speeches, and this one was up to his usual standard.’
      • ‘I think I do have a chance of a medal, if my boxing is up to standard.’
      • ‘I didn't have to worry whether water taxis, hotels and restaurants were up to his exacting standards.’
      • ‘In the private sector, majority of the medical colleges are not up to the standard of the PMDC.’
      • ‘Luckily for us no one else seemed to be up to the standard either - apart from the hosts and presenters.’
      • ‘If they aren't up to standard, however, it could be a different story.’
      • ‘Half of the missile and ammunition stocks is outmoded and not up to modern requirements.’
      1. 3.1Capable of or fit for.
        ‘he is simply not up to the job’
        • ‘He is very proud of a reform which will allow authorities ‘to sack teachers who are not up to the job’.’
        • ‘But from the opening ceremony, it was obvious that Atlanta's public transport was not up to the job.’
        • ‘This is a tall order, and the mild white flesh of the turkey, even at its best, simply isn't up to the job.’
        • ‘I wasn't feeling up to going out, so I spent quite a bit of time listening to music.’
        • ‘However, resident Robert Dyson, who is leading a campaign to stop the floods happening again, does not believe the sewage system is up to the job.’
        • ‘She said she wasn't up to the job, and simply couldn't handle the media.’
        • ‘Everything checked out fine and both engines indicated that they were up to the task.’
        • ‘Considering there is so much going on, one look at the village hall tells you it is not up to the job.’
        • ‘Even for his supporters, it was a week that added to the doubts about whether he was still up to the job.’
        • ‘Mentally I was not up to the challenge of traveling to Australia.’
        allowed to, free to, in a position to
        View synonyms
    • 4The duty, responsibility, or choice of (someone)

      ‘it was up to them to gauge the problem’
      • ‘In Civilization, for example, you set yourself goals, but the way you achieve them is up to you.’
      • ‘What has happened has happened and it is up to the guys to get this tour back on track.’
      • ‘It is really up to the dealer to reach these new markets at the local level with a positive message.’
      • ‘What you guys do with that information is up to you.’
      • ‘But is it the government's duty, or is it up to individuals to take responsibility for their eating?’
      • ‘No one is forcing them to make a difference here, it is really up to individual choice.’
      • ‘The choice of grid is up to the artist, as is the color of each of the grid's cells.’
      • ‘The amount is up to the university and could vary depending on subject.’
      • ‘These are schoolboy errors and it is up to the players to stop making them.’
      • ‘What you want to do with your weekend is up to you.’
    • 5Occupied or busy with.

      ‘what's he been up to?’
      • ‘I wonder what he's up to?’
      • ‘How often I come here depends whether or not I'm in England, but I tend to pitch up like an auditor to see what they're up to.’
      • ‘A real poker player would quickly realize what you were up to and stop falling for it.’
      before, until, till, up to, previous to, earlier than, preceding, leading up to, in advance of, ahead of, ante-, pre-
      View synonyms
  • up top

    • informal In the brain (with reference to intelligence)

      ‘a man with nothing much up top’
      • ‘Peg, you've got enough up top for both of us.’
      • ‘To be a good tackler is about what is up top and you have to be prepared to get hurt.’
  • up with —

    • An exclamation expressing support for a stated person or thing.

      • ‘Down with tragedy! Up with comedy!’
      • ‘So say it: up with technology, up with gadgets.’
      • ‘I don't see any handmade signs at shows that say ‘Up with diversity!’ but I think the cultural harmony is felt.’
  • up yours

    • vulgar slang An exclamation expressing contemptuous defiance or rejection of someone.

  • what's up?

    • 1informal What is going on?

      • ‘I have been talking to my crush online a lot lately, but I never knew what to say in person after the usual, ‘Hey, what's up?’’
      • ‘Raine smiled his acknowledgement and Wes returned her greeting, ‘Hey Sally, what's up?’’
      • ‘I had overheard him greet a buddy who called him on the phone with ‘Yo man, what's up?‘’
      • ‘As I opened the door to Carolyn's room I smelled the scent of her favorite perfume in the air, and half expected her to appear with a ‘Hey Mom, what's up?’’
      • ‘To my surprise he acknowledges me and says back, ‘Hey, what's up?’’
      • ‘He glanced over his shoulder as Harry stepped into the kitchen, ‘Oh hey, what's up?’’
      • ‘She gave a huge smile and said, ‘Hey, what's up?’’
      • ‘‘Heya,’ she said brightly as she sat down, ‘what's up?’’
      • ‘Up ahead, I saw Dean's friends come up beside him, saying, ‘Yo, Dean, what's up?’’
      • ‘You can imagine the scenario, Trent's lying on the coach playing Gamecube, and Jeordie walks in the door, ‘Hey man, what's up?’’
    • 2informal What is the matter?

      ‘what's up with you?’
      • ‘‘Hey’ he said softly, then seeing my expression of worry. ‘what's up?’’
      • ‘How to respond to the comment ‘you look great - what's up?’’
      • ‘I'm too big of a Velvets fan to just go into an interview and say, ‘Hey, your last record's no good, what's up?’’
      • ‘So, Conrad followed us to an area where no one could over hear what we were saying and looked at us, ‘So, what's up?’’
      • ‘His face was red and a witness asked him: ‘Mr Scherwitz, what's up?’’
      • ‘What's up with the world?’
      • ‘You've been unusually touchy today, what's up?’
      • ‘Cook answered and then thinking to himself, ‘Hmmm wonder what's up?’’
      • ‘You're certainly handing out the compliments tonight, what's up?’
      • ‘What's up with you, that you're looking so miserable?’
      • ‘Gwen realized Maria hadn't been talking much and asked her, ‘So, Maria, what's up?’’
  • up for it

    • informal Ready to take part in a particular activity.

      ‘Nick wasn't really up for it’
      • ‘It's one of those places you go and you know that the people come out and they're up for it, they're very enthusiastic and have a great love of music.’
      • ‘They're always really up for it in Scotland, but take that into a festival environment and there's even more abandon!’
      • ‘I think he is totally up for it and wants to change things.’
      • ‘You could see quite a few westerners - out looking for bars, jumping in and out of taxis, up for it on a Friday night.’
      • ‘And if any of you are serious about getting a flat I am up for it!’
      • ‘At 46 he was the oldest contestant but certainly proved he was up for it during the four episodes.’
      • ‘‘I have spoken to the kids in the area and their parents and they are right up for it,’ he said.’
      • ‘I am all up for it, just I don't believe other blokes would be with me.’
      • ‘There's no respite and you have to be up for it all the time.’
      • ‘Sally's up for this mainly so that she can wear her short little ice-skating skirt.’
      ready, prepared, on the point of, set, all set, in a fit state, primed, disposed, likely, about
      View synonyms


Old English up(p), uppe, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch op and German auf.




Main definitions of up in US English:

: up1UP2



  • 1US Upper Peninsula (of the state of Michigan)

    ‘her in-laws initiated her into all the charming ways of the UP’
  • 2Uttar Pradesh.