simple past tense and past participle of uphold.



verb (used with object), up·held, up·hold·ing.

to support or defend, as against opposition or criticism: He fought the duel to uphold his family's honor.
to keep up or keep from sinking; support: Stout columns upheld the building's heavy roof. Her faith upheld her in that time of sadness.
to lift upward; raise: The pilgrims upheld their eyes and thanked heaven for their safe journey.
  1. to upholster.
  2. to maintain in good condition; take care of.

Origin of uphold

First recorded in 1175–1225, uphold is from the Middle English word up holden. See up-, hold1
Related formsup·hold·er, noun

Synonym study

1. See support.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for upheld

backed, sustained, maintained

Examples from the Web for upheld

Contemporary Examples of upheld

Historical Examples of upheld

  • Hanging from the poles which upheld the awnings were sausages, chitterlings, and hams.

  • She had staggered under the weight laid upon her, but she had upheld it.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • The supreme Court of Law has, in many decisions, upheld this condition.

    Bremen Cotton Exchange

    Andreas Wilhelm Cramer

  • That thought has manned me and upheld me when anguish was near to slaying me outright.

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini

  • They had to be nurtured and upheld, no matter how the contacts of life hit his own skin.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

British Dictionary definitions for upheld



the past tense and past participle of uphold


verb -holds, -holding or -held (tr)

to maintain, affirm, or defend against opposition or challenge
to give moral support or inspiration to
rare to support physically
to lift up
Derived Formsupholder, 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

Word Origin and History for upheld

past participle of uphold (q.v.).



early 13c., "support, sustain," from up + hold (v.). Cf. Old Frisian upholda, Middle Dutch ophouden, German aufhalten. Related: Upheld; upholding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper