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Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

upper (comparative uppermore, superlative uppermost)

  1. At a higher level, rank or position.
  2. Situated on higher ground, further inland, or more northerly.
  3. (geology, of strata or geological time periods) younger, more recent
  4. (education) Of or pertaining to a secondary school.

Antonyms edit

  • (antonym(s) of "at a higher position"): lower, under
  • (antonym(s) of "situated higher"): lower
  • (antonym(s) of "more recent"): lower

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun edit

upper (plural uppers)

Benzedrine (an upper) and tickets linked to Jack Kerouac
Flip-flops with several styles of uppers
  1. A stimulant, such as amphetamine, that increases energy and decreases appetite.
    1. Anything that cheers one up.
      • 1977-1980, Lou Sullivan, personal diary, quoted in 2019, Ellis Martin, Zach Ozma (editors), We Both Laughed In Pleasure
        Patrick was a cabbie & a dispatcher at Yellow Cab & when we got to the church where the [funeral] services were being held, the cabbies came out in force for Pat & there were at least 30 cabs pulling into the church parking lot. It was a real upper for a lot of us.
  2. The upper portion of something
    • 1992, Organizational, Direct Support, and General Support, page 5:
      The slewing ring is basically a large bearing upon which the upper is mounted. The outer race of the slewing ring is bolted to the upper, and the inner race is bolted to the car-body.
    • 2012, Reginald Laubin, Gladys Laubin, The Indian Tipi: Its History, Construction, and Use:
      These lines, GH and PC, are cut when the outline of the upper is cut out.
    1. (shoemaking) The piece of leather, etc., that forms the top part of a shoe above the sole.
    2. (footwear) The Y-shaped strap on flip-flops.
  3. Someone with higher social standing
    • 1993, Larry Hirschhorn, Carole K. Barnett, The Psychodynamics of Organizations:
      Thus a vicious circle is established: the uppers offer participation, and the lowers, feeling persecuted, withdraw.
    1. A senior student.
      • 1895, Edward Parry Eardley-Wilmot, E. C. Streatfield, Charterhouse, page 64:
        Each Upper had his private Fag; but general fagdom consisted of obedience to the demand of every Upper, no matter in whose House he happened to be.
      • 2016, The Best of the Harvard Lampoon: 140 Years of American Humor:
        It is advisable, for example, to learn the words to the school loyalty and to “Fair Harvard” in the event that you are “asked” to give an impromptu “concert” in the Yard for the benefit of the Uppers.
  4. That which is higher, contrasted with the lower.
    • 1984, Robert Forrest Burgess, Handbook of trailer sailing, page 90:
      Next, take up slack equally on the two uppers until they are snug.
    • 2009, Michael A. Alexander, Dennis J. Matthews, Pediatric Rehabilitation: Principles & Practice, page 361:
      During the seventh week, the limbs also rotate laterally in the uppers and medially in the lowers.
    • 2010, Thomas Porky McDonald, Poet in the Grandstand:
      In this compact middle level between the uppers and the lowers, I actually had a counter in front of me, where food or drink could be safely planted, without fear of knocking over onto any patrons sitting in the seats below me.
    1. A tooth in the upper jaw.
      • 2009, Arun K. Garg, Implant Dentistry, page 165:
        In the lingualized type of occlusion, contact of the lingual cusps of the uppers against the semianatomic teeth on the lowers will be seen in lateral, protrusive, and eccentric movements.
      • 2010, Peter S. Ungar, Mammal Teeth: Origin, Evolution, and Diversity, page 212:
        These reentrant folds, especially those on the buccal side of the uppers and the lingual side of the lowers, are quickly isolated by wear into infundibula within lakes of dentin.
      • 2012, Todd Debreceni, Special Make-up Effects for Stage & Screen:
        Periodically check the bite with the uppers and lowers to ensure that your actor's mouth will close correctly.
      • 2014, Jake Jacobson, Alaska Tales: Laughs and Surprises:
        Considering the badly decayed condition of the Chief's other teeth, I recommended removal of what remained of the uppers, followed by a “full plate” after healing.
    2. A denture or retainer for the teeth in the upper jaw.
      • 1912, Dental Record:
        Treatment was continued until November, 1909, when a retainer was placed in position in the lower, consisting of bands round the lower first molars and a wire passing lingually round all the teeth. The upper was retained by means of a plate with wires wires passing behind the upper first molars and round in front of all the teeth.
      • 1941, Cal - Volumes 4-6, page 6:
        The lower (according to the patient) was perfect, but the upper was bad, and the dentist was going to make the upper again.
      • 2010, David R. Avery, Ralph E. McDonald, Jeffrey A. Dean, McDonald and Avery Dentistry for the Child and Adolescent:
        The upper was retained with a Hawley bite plane; the lip bumper was continued for an additional 18 months.
    3. An upper berth or bunk.
      • 1926, United States. Supreme Court, United States Supreme Court Reports - Volume 59, page 1423:
        The Railroad Company further averred that it operated sleeping cars over its system of more than 7,000 miles of interstate roads, and that the Interstate Commerce Commission had prescribed rates for each of said sleeping car units on trains running to and from the state of Wisconsin. The rate fixed for the upper was 80 per cent. of the charge for the use of the lower; the price for the whole section beting the sum of the two rates.
      • 2011, Walker Percy, The Moviegoer:
        But trains have changed. Gone are the uppers and lowers, partitions and cranks, and the green velour; only the porter remains, the same man, I think, a black man with palms the color of shrimp and a neck swollen with dislike.
      • 2011, Studs Terkel, Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression:
        Twelve lowers and twelve uppers and three beds in the drawing rooms.
      • 1914, Illinois Central Magazine - Volume 3, Issues 1-11, page 91:
        Of course I naturally I asked why, but all the satisfaction I got for the time being was that the upper was good enough for me, and that it was a pretty good place in which to sleep, anyway.
      • 2016, Constance R. Pottenger, Drop Dead Casino - Ginger The First, page 31:
        The uppers were reached by comfortably safe steps with handrails and slip proof coatings.
  5. (Taoism) A spiritual passageway through which consciousness can reach a higher dimension.
    • 2005, Shingo Einoo, Genesis and Development of Tantra, page 128:
      The 'upper' is one of nine apertures through which consciousness can leave the body at death (utkrantih).
    • 2005, Holding Yin, Embracing Yang:
      When the Tao Te Ching says: “In thought, you can see the cavity,” it is referring to what the Triplex Unity describes as “When the upper is closed, we call it existence; when the lower is closed, we call it nothingness.”
    • 2010, Tenzin Dhakpa Agongtsang, Realistic Principles, Pittsburgh, PA: RoseDog Books, page 10:
      It is said in Tibetan culture, in order to understand the upper, it is necessary to understand the lower first. Once, the lower is understood, the upper is just an introductory.

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