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[uhp-rahyt, uhp-rahyt] /ˈʌpˌraɪt, ʌpˈraɪt/
erect or vertical, as in position or posture.
raised or directed vertically or upward.
adhering to rectitude; righteous, honest, or just:
an upright person.
being in accord with what is right:
upright dealings.
the state of being upright or vertical.
something standing erect or vertical, as a piece of timber.
Usually, uprights. Chiefly Football. the goalposts.
in an upright position or direction; vertically.
verb (used with object)
to make upright.
Origin of upright
before 900; Middle English, Old English upriht (cognate with German aufrecht). See up, right
Related forms
uprightly, adverb
uprightness, noun
nonupright, adjective, noun
nonuprightly, adverb
nonuprightness, noun
1. plumb. Upright, erect, vertical, perpendicular imply that something is in the posture of being straight upward, not leaning. That which is upright is in a position corresponding to that of a person standing up: a decaying tree no longer standing upright; an upright piano. Erect emphasizes the straightness of position or posture: proud and erect; A flagpole stands erect. Vertical suggests upward direction, especially along the shortest line from the earth to a level above it: the vertical edge of a door; ornamented by vertical lines. Perpendicular, a term frequently interchangeable with vertical, is used especially in mathematics: the perpendicular side of a right triangle; to erect a perpendicular line from the base of a figure. 3. honorable. 6. pole, prop, pier, pile, column.
1. leaning, horizontal. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for uprightness
Historical Examples
  • There is a truthfulness in action as well as in words, which is essential to uprightness of character.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • That he did this shows the great trust which he placed in their uprightness.

    The Formation of Christendom, Volume VI

    Thomas W. (Thomas William) Allies
  • I knew him; he was not a genius, but he had at least a great deal of uprightness and energy.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • Cornwood was smart, if he was nothing else in the way of honesty and uprightness.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • You could see that he spoke with earnestness and from the uprightness of his soul.

  • I saw it in her posture, in the pallor of her cheeks and the uprightness of her carriage.

    The Forsaken Inn Anna Katharine Green
  • It is enough that I am conscious of my own uprightness and that I say, Find the child!

    The Millionaire Baby

    Anna Katharine Green
  • She has to see that he walks in paths of truth and uprightness.

    The Khaki Kook Book Mary Kennedy Core
  • The subtlety of his wit does not affect the uprightness of his character.

  • If they are convinced of my uprightness, let them defend me.

    The Empress Josephine Louise Muhlbach
British Dictionary definitions for uprightness


vertical or erect
honest, honourable, or just
a vertical support, such as a stake or post
short for upright piano
the state of being vertical
(transitive) to make upright
Derived Forms
uprightly, adverb
uprightness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for uprightness


Old English upriht, from up "up" + riht "right." Similar compounds are found in other Germanic languages (cf. Old Frisian upriucht, Middle Dutch oprecht, Old High German ufreht, German aufrecht, Old Norse uprettr). Figurative sense of "good, honest" is first attested 1520s. The noun in the sense of "something standing erect" is from 1742.

THREE-PENNY UPRIGHT. A retailer of love, who, for the sum mentioned, dispenses her favours standing against a wall. ["Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1811]

The bent-over rear-entry posture they are talking about, of course, is kubda, the three-obol position at the bottom-end of a prostitute's price-range. [James N. Davidson, "Courtesans and Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens," 1997]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with uprightness


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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