From Old English upriht, from up + riht ‎(right). Compare Dutch oprecht, West Frisian oprjocht.



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. Greater in height than breadth.
  3. (figuratively) Of good morals; practicing ethical values.
  4. (of a golf club) Having the head approximately at a right angle with the shaft.


  • (vertical, erect): surrect (obsolete, rare)

Derived termsEdit



upright ‎(comparative more upright, superlative most upright)

  1. in or into an upright position



upright ‎(plural uprights)

  1. Any vertical part of a structure, especially one of the goal posts in sports.
    • 2011 January 5, Mark Ashenden, “Wolverhampton 1 - 0 Chelsea”, BBC:
      Chelsea improved, with Salomon Kalou denied by goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and Didier Drogba hitting the upright.
  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.


Related termsEdit



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).
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