Definition of upright in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈəpˌrīt/


1Vertical; erect: the posts must be in an upright position
More example sentences
  • It is a typical stone row, comprising a line of upright stone slabs, constructed about 2000 bc as a ceremonial site.
  • 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.
  • It clicks into place in an upright position when needed.
1.1(Of a piano) having vertical strings.
Example sentences
  • About 40 Steinways, including upright and grand pianos, were on sale to amateur musicians and experts hunting bargains.
  • The piano was a shiny black upright model, clean and well-cared for.
  • 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.
vertical, perpendicular, plumb, straight (up), straight up and down, standing, bolt upright, erect, on end;
1.2Greater in height than breadth: an upright freezer
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • The third common feature of poorly designed logos is an upright shape.
1.3Denoting a device designed to be used in a vertical position: an upright vacuum cleaner
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Some light boxes look like upright lamps, while others are small and rectangular.
  • Claim 4 relates to an upright appliance on wheels having a cleaning head with a rotatable brush at the dirty air inlet.
2(Of a person or their behavior) strictly honorable or honest: an upright member of the community
More example sentences
  • John was a much loved and respected member of the community, known for his upright and honest nature.
  • A fine noble gentleman, honest and upright, he gained the respect of everybody.
  • He seemed a decent fellow - honest, upright, considerate, and willing to put others before himself.


In or into a vertical position: she was sitting upright in bed
More example sentences
  • He looked steadily at Noel and Powell to show them he'd kept the trees upright.
  • The wreck, called the Borghild, lies upright on the sea bed just offshore from a lighthouse and her decks are at 42m.
  • After a few sessions with a ‘healing horse’ at the academy, he not only walks but sits upright on a horseback on his own.


1A post or rod fixed vertically, especially as a structural support: the stone uprights of the parapet
More example sentences
  • The ‘smart’ fence uses breakable metal pins inserted between the top pole and the uprights supporting it.
  • 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.
  • The most common arch form is constructed of steel uprights supported in concrete-filled oil drums, with a trellised head spanning the road.
1.1 (uprights) American Football The vertical posts extending up from the crossbar of the goalpost, between which a field goal must pass to score.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pat Delahunty was the first player to hit the post as he hit the left upright.
2An upright piano.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.



Pronunciation: /ˈəpˌrītlē/
Example sentences
  • A free person lives uprightly, fulfilling his obligations to family, community, nation and God.
  • They are tyrants and ideologues whose sole concern is imposing their Nietzschean will to power upon the weak, the uprightly bourgeois, the decently intentioned.
  • Machiavelli begins by affirming that everybody realizes how praiseworthy it is when a ruler lives uprightly and not by trickery.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: up·right

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