[ uhp-streem ]
See synonyms for upstream on
  1. toward or in the higher part of a stream; against the current.

  1. directed upstream; situated upstream: an upstream journey; an upstream hideout.

  2. Commerce. of or relating to the early stages in the operations of a business or industry, as exploration and production in the oil business (opposed to downstream).

  1. against or opposite to the direction of transcription, translation, or synthesis of a DNA, RNA, or protein molecule.

Origin of upstream

First recorded in 1675–85; up- + stream

Words Nearby upstream Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use upstream in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for upstream


/ (ˈʌpˈstriːm) /

adverb, adjective
  1. in or towards the higher part of a stream; against the current

  2. (in the oil industry) of or for any of the stages prior to oil production, such as exploration or research: Compare downstream (def. 2)

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