upper

1
[ uhp-er ]
/ ˈʌp ər /

adjective

noun

Idioms

    on one's uppers, Informal. reduced to poverty; without sufficient means: They are on their uppers but manage to hide the fact from their friends.

Origin of upper

1
1300–50; Middle English; see up (adj.), -er4
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for on one's uppers

upper

/ (ˈʌpə) /

adjective


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

Science definitions for on one's uppers

upper

[ ŭpər ]

Being a later or more recent division of the geological or archaeological period named. Compare lower.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with on one's uppers (1 of 2)

on one's uppers

Poor, in reduced circumstances, as in as in The Smiths try to hide the fact that they're on their uppers. First recorded in 1886, this metaphoric term alludes to having worn out the soles of one's shoes so badly that only the top portions remain.


Idioms and Phrases with on one's uppers (2 of 2)

upper

In addition to the idioms beginning with upper

  • upper crust
  • upper hand
  • upper story

also see:

  • keep a stiff upper lip
  • on one's uppers

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