Definition of upright in English:



  • 1(of a person) sitting or standing with the back straight.

    ‘an upright posture’
    1. 1.1Vertical; erect.
      ‘the posts must be in an upright position’
      • ‘Please return all seatbacks to their full upright position.’
      • ‘Today, the stones lie flat and it is uncertain whether they were ever upright; excavations in 1901-2 failed to reveal any sockets.’
      • ‘It is a typical stone row, comprising a line of upright stone slabs, constructed about 2000 bc as a ceremonial site.’
      • ‘Instead, it will be placed in an upright position next to the speaker.’
      • ‘It usually perches in a diagonal rather than upright position.’
      • ‘When he realised what had happened, he groaned and stood slowly, removing the chair from under him before looking over to me and glaring as he returned it to an upright position.’
      • ‘Make sure your tray tables are in the upright position.’
      • ‘He said Easter Island now has some trees and many of the statues have been brought to an upright position again.’
      • ‘Encourage the stem that will form the new plant to grow straight by gently bending it into an upright position and attaching it to a cane.’
      • ‘This variation of a traditional hitch rack allows you to carry three to four bikes in an upright position, making the loading and unloading of bikes a breeze.’
      • ‘These are placed in an upright position with their mouths upward, stopped up with seaweed or imperishable grass, and covered with earth.’
      • ‘Each gate will have the ability to revolve on a hinge, from a horizontal resting position on the bottom of the sea to an upright position rising above sea level.’
      • ‘Then I heard a choking noise and when I came into the lounge I found Lee stuck under the chair which was in its normal upright position.’
      • ‘It clicks into place in an upright position when needed.’
      • ‘The colossal white columns, which lean forward 20 centimeters, will be returned to their upright position.’
      • ‘The bathroom, for example, has a bath that can be moved in an upright position, aromatic oils and special music can be added.’
      • ‘This space is large enough to accommodate four large Samsonite suitcases in an upright position.’
      • ‘She's in very good condition, in an upright position on the seabed.’
      • ‘The sidecar is free to pivot relative to the bike, so the bike can lean, steer, even fall over, while the sidecar maintains its upright position.’
      • ‘The man finally stands up and slowly pulls his motorbike into an upright position.’
    2. 1.2(of a piano) having vertical strings.
      • ‘The piano itself sounds as though it's an old upright one that's seen better days, but it's still able to hold a tune, or at least the memory of one.’
      • ‘The piano was a shiny black upright model, clean and well-cared for.’
      • ‘About 40 Steinways, including upright and grand pianos, were on sale to amateur musicians and experts hunting bargains.’
      vertical, perpendicular, plumb, straight up and down, bolt upright, erect, on end, standing up, rearing, rampant
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    3. 1.3Greater in height than breadth.
      ‘an upright freezer’
      • ‘A recent addition is an upright solar panel that Trevor swivels manually to keep it pointed at the sun.’
      • ‘The third common feature of poorly designed logos is an upright shape.’
      • ‘To reduce the height of a fast growing rambling rose on an upright trellis, try looping and tying the flowering canes as shown.’
      • ‘They're usually upright, strong growers with green summer leaves and red, orange, and gold fall color.’
      • ‘It's an upright evergreen shrub which, around Christmas and into January, produces plenty of white, pink-tinted flowers.’
    4. 1.4Denoting a device designed to be used in a vertical position.
      ‘an upright vacuum cleaner’
      • ‘Wil-Dog, who used to play in Macy Gray's band, plays electric bass, upright bass, and guitar.’
      • ‘The upright booth positioned to one side of the stage, was the point of arrival and exit.’
      • ‘He saw his sword lying beside him and had an idea, he quickly grabbed his sword and stuck it deeply into the ground and hung onto it, standing behind the upright sword.’
      • ‘Avalos has substituted upright flashlights, instruments of surveillance, for votive candles.’
      • ‘Some manufacturers offer a matching fridge for their upright freezers.’
      • ‘In total we raised more than enough to reach our goal of an upright freezer for the women's refuge.’
      • ‘William Hoover bought the patent from Spangler, his wife's cousin, and produced the first upright vacuum cleaner in 1908.’
      • ‘The old upright Kelvinator fridge still humming away in the corner can still be updated and reused, even in the 21st century.’
      • ‘Back home I fixed lunch while Graham assembled the new vacuum cleaner - an impressively powerful cyclonic upright machine.’
      • ‘We follow the propshaft tunnel forwards along the keel to an intact and upright engine and a compact pair of boilers.’
      • ‘It is a sort of a big board game type contraption, free standing, and the size of an upright fridge.’
      • ‘They take off the valve, and cut off the leaking end of the upright pipe. They add in a new section of pipe and put it all back together.’
      • ‘She set a place for each of them, then went to the large, upright freezer and pulled out three icy mugs.’
      • ‘Washer-driers and upright vacuum cleaners, but not cylinder ones, are among the least reliable products.’
      • ‘Mr. Starkley looked at the clock incorporated into his pen holder, a pair of upright pens with the clock between them mounted in the hub of a brass ship's wheel.’
      • ‘Claim 4 relates to an upright appliance on wheels having a cleaning head with a rotatable brush at the dirty air inlet.’
      • ‘Optimally, the engine is designed to allow the filter to stand upright, so the oil can drain out for easy recycling.’
      • ‘When turned off the upright lamp is empty and silent but when switched on it comes alive, its nylon shade inflating via an internal fan to become a glowing globe.’
      • ‘Visual inspection of the quality of the metal pattern was carried out using a 20x lens on an upright light microscope.’
      • ‘Some light boxes look like upright lamps, while others are small and rectangular.’
  • 2(of a person or their behavior) strictly honorable or honest.

    ‘an upright member of the community’
    • ‘He seemed a decent fellow - honest, upright, considerate, and willing to put others before himself.’
    • ‘She was upright, Scottish and religious, and dominated my young life. She read to me for hours and gave me my faith, and I'm grateful to Nana for that.’
    • ‘The vast majority of them are decent, upright people who share our horror at what has happened.’
    • ‘A somber, upright man, he is interested only in truth and justice.’
    • ‘It attempts, in parallels, to raise serious political and emotional questions about the moral predicament of the present day upright people.’
    • ‘John was a much loved and respected member of the community, known for his upright and honest nature.’
    • ‘It is lamentable that the defendant has to pay such a disastrous price to be an upright person.’
    • ‘We need upright people in the council because there is important work to do.’
    • ‘Being of upright character is not at all a prerequisite for being a pop star.’
    • ‘She was always kind, and he certainly loved eating her cookies, which he was fed fairly often, but she always made James slightly nervous, in that she was extremely upright all the time.’
    • ‘Its employment roster is a roll-call of upright citizens.’
    • ‘This is the engaging story of an upright man's quest to protect his family, find love, and see justice done.’
    • ‘Corruption like all other vices is a moral issue and we feel that the public can avoid being accomplices if they are morally upright.’
    • ‘A fine noble gentleman, honest and upright, he gained the respect of everybody.’
    • ‘When officials are upright and vigilant, drivers will be extra cautious.’
    • ‘Most business people are upright citizens; but that does not change the fact that business is conducted for private gain and not for public benefit.’
    • ‘Job recovered in the end, but many just, upright men do not.’
    • ‘Faultless and upright people have been killed.’
    • ‘I could also extend effective protection to upright officers who happened to displease powerful politicians.’
    • ‘Born in Warwickshire, she was the daughter of a land agent whose moral qualities are reflected in those of the upright Adam Bede.’
    honest, honourable, upstanding, respectable, reputable, high-minded, law-abiding, right-minded, worthy, moral, ethical, righteous, decent, good, virtuous, principled, high-principled, of principle, proper, correct, just, noble, incorruptible, anti-corruption, conscientious
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  • In or into a vertical position.

    ‘she was sitting upright in bed’
    • ‘Erik woke slowly, but when he realized he hadn't heard anything about Kallie, he bolted upright, causing him to get a little lightheaded.’
    • ‘Samantha Ashton stirred and sat perfectly upright in the chair.’
    • ‘The answer of course is ‘man,’ who crawls as an infant, walks upright in adulthood, and uses a cane in old age.’
    • ‘Stop watering around April, store the pots upright or on their sides, anywhere convenient - under a greenhouse bench is a good place - and leave them to dry out.’
    • ‘He looked steadily at Noel and Powell to show them he'd kept the trees upright.’
    • ‘If you can't cook asparagus immediately, the National Farmers' Union says you can place the stems upright in a container with a little water to cover the ends and store in the fridge.’
    • ‘The wreck, called the Borghild, lies upright on the sea bed just offshore from a lighthouse and her decks are at 42m.’
    • ‘I grasped his muscular arms and tried to stand upright, but as I began to straighten up, I felt dizzy again, and everything went black.’
    • ‘She bolts upright, clutching the blankets around her tightly.’
    • ‘According to the principles of calligraphy, writing should be upright or slanting to the right.’
    • ‘When she feebly started to push herself upright they jumped back and whispered to each other.’
    • ‘Dafoe sits upright, looking surprised, as if he's said too much.’
    • ‘Carefully, he straightened until he was standing upright.’
    • ‘After a few sessions with a ‘healing horse’ at the academy, he not only walks but sits upright on a horseback on his own.’
    • ‘Sitting upright Carl looked around his room and confirmed that he was alone.’
    • ‘Today, on his third visit, Jason coaxed her to stand upright unaided (no grabrail) from her wheelchair.’
    • ‘Heaving his head upright Michael sipped at the bitter, oily coffee and tried to focus on his sister.’
    • ‘Mr Venables sat upright, staring straight ahead with his lips thin with rage.’
    • ‘The word ‘pillar’ brings to mind something of great strength that stands upright and holds an important structure in place.’
    • ‘The man, whose name is evocative of fear and hatred in films, stands upright without even a stoop to suggest his 71 years.’


  • 1A post or rod fixed vertically, especially as a structural support.

    ‘the stone uprights of the parapet’
    • ‘Fires have burnt most of the uprights to charred stumps but the thick wooden corner posts are still intact.’
    • ‘Typical of the Medway group of long barrows, it comprises three large uprights supporting a single massive capstone.’
    • ‘Carefully I climbed over the rickety fence, just wooden poles slung between uprights.’
    • ‘The most common arch form is constructed of steel uprights supported in concrete-filled oil drums, with a trellised head spanning the road.’
    • ‘Hutton Mount Limited reported the removal of the horizontal barrier in a recent newsletter and said the bollards and uprights were to remain standing as a ‘very effective speed restriction’.’
    • ‘Make sure safety bars are inserted into the uprights.’
    • ‘The drive wheel is held by a pair of short posts, and the uprights and spokes are very ornately turned.’
    • ‘The ‘smart’ fence uses breakable metal pins inserted between the top pole and the uprights supporting it.’
    • ‘In this case, there are four antennas mounted on each of the three upright support structures.’
    • ‘The winds, which had now swung south-east sent great waves over those who still clung to anything they could get a grip on, such as chains, steel uprights or iron support bars.’
    • ‘Now the two floors of the restaurant are laid out around the stout timber uprights which support the internal floors.’
    • ‘The spaces between the posts are filled in with redwood patterned inserts or detailed uprights that can alternate in size for extra design interest.’
    • ‘A locked metal gate supported by two thick concrete uprights stood in the way.’
    • ‘Near the centre was a tall standing stone now marked by a concrete obelisk, adjacent to which was a short straight line of stones which may have formed one side of a square around the central upright.’
    • ‘The timbers were the uprights of wattle fences, the complex containing up to 100,000 square feet or 30,500 square metres of fencing, some of which still survives.’
    • ‘He worked his hands up the carved stone uprights and grunted as he got a knee over the balcony's lip and rolled over the railing.’
    column, standard, stanchion, post, pole
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1American Football The vertical posts extending up from the crossbar of the goalpost, between which a field goal must pass to score.
      • ‘Dyson did make the kick, but it was a close run thing as the ball only went between the posts after bouncing off the right upright.’
      • ‘Federal came out blazing early and were unlucky not to score when in the first 10 minutes one shot for goal hit the upright and then another went wide.’
      • ‘Pat Delahunty was the first player to hit the post as he hit the left upright.’
      • ‘The uprights, which are 6.5m apart, should be at least 7m high, with a crossbar at 2.5m to form a goal space with a net attached behind, like a combination of a rugby and football goal.’
      • ‘‘I had a little difficulty seeing the uprights in the past, when I'm at one end of the field everything's blurry at the other end,’ he admitted.’
  • 2An upright piano.

    • ‘One option for families with children studying piano is to purchase uprights with the reduced keyboard and trade up later, as is done with different size violins.’
    • ‘He notes that grand pianos have faster, kick-action performance that is not found in a standard upright.’
    • ‘The ‘soft pedal’ on some uprights moves the whole set of hammers closer to the strings, so that they give a less powerful blow.’
    • ‘Many manufacturers will offer both uprights and grands with smaller keyboards.’
    • ‘The orchestra sounds small, the piano almost like an upright compared to a grand with Nibley playing with a fluidity that is spectacular.’
    • ‘At home I put the music on my piano, a 1908 upright, not too different, probably, from Florence's.’
    • ‘A beautiful 1930s upright, finished in polished walnut, with a tone to die for.’
    • ‘Both uprights were broken, probably on impact.’
    • ‘Mrs. Schultze came to the edge of the porch and put a pale, long fingered hand against the upright.’
    • ‘It was a huge old upright, but, to my eyes, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.’
    • ‘Still in 1910, 139,000 teachers were teaching Americans how to play on parlor pianos, uprights, baby grands and grands.’
    • ‘Some years ago, I had donated a very good upright to my church.’


Old English upriht, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch oprecht and German aufrecht (see up, right).