1. of, relating to, or located at the back of the stage.
  2. haughtily aloof; supercilious.
verb (used with object), up·staged, up·stag·ing.
  1. to overshadow (another performer) by moving upstage and forcing the performer to turn away from the audience.
  2. to outdo professionally, socially, etc.
  3. to behave snobbishly toward.
  1. the rear half of the stage.
  2. any stage position to the rear of another.

Origin of upstage

First recorded in 1905–10; up- + stage Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for upstaging


Examples from the Web for upstaging

Contemporary Examples of upstaging

British Dictionary definitions for upstaging


  1. on, at, or to the rear of the stage
  1. of or relating to the back half of the stage
  2. informal haughty; supercilious; aloof
verb (tr)
  1. to move upstage of (another actor), thus forcing him to turn away from the audience
  2. informal to draw attention to oneself from (someone else); steal the show from (someone)
  3. informal to treat haughtily
  1. the back half of the stage
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 upstaging


1918 (adj.), 1921 (v.); the notion is of drawing attention to oneself (and away from a fellow actor) by moving upstage -- to the rear of the stage -- so that the other actor must face away from the audience. The noun upstage "back of the stage" is recorded from 1870.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper