Definition of up to in US English:

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.’
    • ‘I had boots that reached up to my knees.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He walked across the frozen reservoir to retrieve his football but the ice gave way, plunging Luke into the water up to his waist.’
    • ‘As he tried to walk across the mud he began to sink after just 15 metres and was quickly stuck up to his waist.’
    1. 1.1 Until.
      ‘up to now I hadn't had a relationship’
      • ‘It traces the painter's adult life right up until his death in a car crash in 1956.’
      • ‘The frustrating thing is, we were doing alright up until then and were making good use of our extra player.’
      • ‘If we have survived up to now what is stopping us from surviving in the future?’
      • ‘The autumn and winter months up until the middle of December are traditionally the best time for game.’
      • ‘You are always trying to improve and it goes on right up to the day you stop playing.’
      • ‘The events in that car make you readdress everything Ryan Phillipe's character has done up to that point.’
      • ‘No one guessed this was possible, at least up until a month ago, but it's going to take place, like it or not.’
      • ‘Sure, he thought he was Elvis, but he was a real trooper and was performing right up until the end.’
      • ‘Even better than that of the Victorian painter Augustus Leopold Egg, which was my favourite name up to now.’
      • ‘Thorne received his big break years ago, but up until now has traded on his youth.’
      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-
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  • 2Indicating a maximum amount.

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

    ‘I was not up to her standards’
    • ‘Half of the missile and ammunition stocks is outmoded and not up to modern requirements.’
    • ‘So I think that we have to say very clearly that how we started on this past week was not up to standard.’
    • ‘It would easily be up to the standard of our National One matches.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He clearly was not up to standard and Lawrence took full advantage of this.’
    • ‘If they aren't up to standard, however, it could be a different story.’
    • ‘Luckily for us no one else seemed to be up to the standard either - apart from the hosts and presenters.’
    • ‘He's good at speeches, and this one was up to his usual standard.’
    1. 3.1 Capable of or fit for.
      ‘he is simply 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.’
      • ‘Mentally I was not up to the challenge of traveling to Australia.’
      • ‘Even for his supporters, it was a week that added to the doubts about whether he was still up to the job.’
      • ‘Considering there is so much going on, one look at the village hall tells you it is not up to the job.’
      • ‘She said she wasn't up to the job, and simply couldn't handle the media.’
      • ‘He is very proud of a reform which will allow authorities ‘to sack teachers who are not up to the job’.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But from the opening ceremony, it was obvious that Atlanta's public transport was not up to the job.’
      • ‘Everything checked out fine and both engines indicated that they were up to the task.’
      • ‘I wasn't feeling up to going out, so I spent quite a bit of time listening to music.’
      allowed to, free to, in a position to
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  • 4The duty, responsibility, or choice of (someone)

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