[ uhp-er ]
See synonyms for: upperuppers on Thesaurus.com

  1. higher, as in place, position, pitch, or in a scale: the upper stories of a house;the upper register of a singer's voice.

  2. superior, as in rank, dignity, or station.

  1. (of places) at a higher level, more northerly, or farther from the sea: the upper slopes of a mountain;upper New York State.

  2. Often Upper .Stratigraphy. denoting a later division of a period, system, or the like: the Upper Devonian.

  1. the part of a shoe or boot above the sole, comprising the quarter, vamp, counter, and lining.

  2. an upper berth.

  1. a gaiter made of cloth.: Compare gaiter (def. 1).

  2. Usually uppers .

    • an upper dental plate.

    • an upper tooth.

  3. Informal. the higher of two bunks or berths.

Idioms about upper

  1. 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

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English; see origin at up (adjective), -er4

Words Nearby upper

Other definitions for upper (2 of 2)

[ uhp-er ]

  1. a stimulant drug, especially an amphetamine.

  2. a pleasant or elating experience, person, or situation.

Origin of upper

An Americanism dating back to 1965–70; up + -er1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use upper in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for upper


/ (ˈʌpə) /

  1. higher or highest in relation to physical position, wealth, rank, status, etc

  2. (capital when part of a name) lying farther upstream, inland, or farther north: the upper valley of the Loire

  1. (capital when part of a name) geology archaeol denoting the late part or division of a period, system, formation, etc: Upper Palaeolithic

  2. maths (of a limit or bound) greater than or equal to one or more numbers or variables

  1. the higher of two objects, people, etc

  2. the part of a shoe above the sole, covering the upper surface of the foot

  1. on one's uppers extremely poor; destitute

  2. informal any tooth of the upper jaw

  3. Also called (esp US): up slang any of various drugs having a stimulant or euphoric effect: Compare downer

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

Scientific definitions for upper


[ ŭpər ]

  1. 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.

Other Idioms and Phrases with 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.