inspirational; offering or providing hope, encouragement, salvation, etc.: an uplifting sermon.

Origin of uplifting

First recorded in 1810–20; uplift + -ing2


[verb uhp-lift; noun uhp-lift]

verb (used with object)

to lift up; raise; elevate.
to improve socially, culturally, morally, or the like: to uplift downtrodden and deprived peoples.
to exalt emotionally or spiritually.

verb (used without object)

to become uplifted.


an act of lifting up or raising; elevation.
the process or work of improving, as socially, intellectually, or morally.
emotional or spiritual exaltation.
a brassiere.
Geology. an upheaval.

Origin of uplift

First recorded in 1300–50, uplift is from the Middle English word upliften. See up-, lift
Related formsup·lift·ment, noun

Synonyms for uplift

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

Examples from the Web for uplifting

Contemporary Examples of uplifting

Historical Examples of uplifting

  • The thoughts might be uplifting to Almena, but they did not elevate my spirits.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • This uplifting illusion made him inquisitorial and peremptory.

    The Shadow-Line

    Joseph Conrad

  • His recollections of city calm and coolness were not uplifting in this emergency.

    Janet of the Dunes

    Harriet T. Comstock

  • Her friends, however, felt it was she who gave to them because of her uplifting power.

    Girls and Women

    Harriet E. Paine (AKA E. Chester}

  • After all, what is education in the finest sense, but the uplifting of the masses?

    Tutors' Lane

    Wilmarth Lewis

British Dictionary definitions for uplifting



acting to raise moral, spiritual, cultural, etc levels


verb (ʌpˈlɪft) (tr)

to raise; elevate; lift up
to raise morally, spiritually, culturally, etc
Scot and NZ to collect (a passenger, parcel, etc); pick up

noun (ˈʌpˌlɪft)

the act, process, or result of lifting up
the act or process of bettering moral, social or cultural conditions, etc
  1. a brassiere for lifting and supporting the breasts
  2. (as modifier)an uplift bra
the process or result of land being raised to a higher level, as during a period of mountain building
Derived Formsuplifter, 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 uplifting



mid-14c., from up + lift (v.). Related: Uplifted; uplifting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper