Definition of upright in English:


Line breaks: up|right
Pronunciation: /ˈʌprʌɪt


  • 1(Of a person) sitting or standing with the back straight: an upright posture
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    • He was upright immediately, staring at her in shock.
    • Within a matter of seconds, he was snoring as if he were not upright in a car, but lying comfortably in his own bed.
    • When we parted she was upright, energised, smiling and laughing.
  • 1.1Placed in a vertical position: upright stone slabs
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    • 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.
  • 1.2Denoting a device designed to be used in a vertical position: an upright vacuum cleaner
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    • 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.
  • 1.3(Of a piano) having vertical strings.
    More 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.
  • 1.4Denoting a chair with a straight back and typically no arms.
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    • In the middle of the small and chaotic living room of Smith's south London high-rise council flat is a stylish but unremarkable upright chair.
    • They sat by the fire on upright chairs, wooden and unforgiving; they were old, I thought, but sadly had no armchair.
    • We three girls sat on very uncomfortable upright chairs around the mock-Jacobean dining table.
  • 2Greater in height than breadth: an upright freezer
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    • 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.


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  • In or into an upright position: she was sitting upright in bed
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    • 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.


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  • 1A post or rod fixed vertically, especially as a structural support: the stone uprights of the parapet
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    • 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.
  • 2An upright piano: a first-class upright that would satisfy an amateur pianist
    More 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.



More 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).

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