[ noun uhp-swing; verb uhp-swing ]
/ noun ˈʌpˌswɪŋ; verb ʌpˈswɪŋ /
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an upward swing or swinging movement, as of a pendulum.
a marked increase or improvement: an upswing in stock prices.
verb (used without object), up·swung, up·swing·ing.
to make or undergo an upswing.
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Origin of upswing

First recorded in 1920–25; up- + swing1

Words nearby upswing

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


What does on the upswing mean?

The expression on the upswing refers to something in the process of improving or increasing. It’s often used in the context of economics.

How is on the upswing pronounced?

[ on thuh uhp-swing ]

What are some other words related to on the upswing?

Where does on the upswing come from?

The term upswing is first recorded in reference to golf, describing the part of a golf swing where one brings the club up over their head before the downswing to strike the ball.

Evidence for the word upswing dates back to at least the 1920s. It quickly became an effective visual metaphor for “upward movement,” especially when starting from a poor or middling state (e.g., Trade and stock prices are on the upswing). This usage, including the specific phrase on the upswing, is found in the 1930s, likely corresponding to economic activity during the Great Depression.

Upswing has been expanded to mean any “increase” (e.g., We’re seeing an upswing in visitors to a website). This upswing is likely influenced by a similar word, uptick.

From economics, on the upswing spread to a whole range of contexts, including “improvements” in personal circumstances like physical or emotional health.

The band Bell X1 released a track “The Upswing” in 2016, featuring the chorus: “‘Cause baby one little push from you / Got me on the upswing / Even without trying to / Got me on the upswing.” That is, the singer is doing better and better.

How is on the upswing used in real life?

On the upswing is particularly common in economic discussions to describe trading, companies, prices, profits, or even whole economies that are trending upward in activity, value, strength, and health.

Outside economics, on the upswing is commonly and widely used in any number of other contexts to describe things that are getting bigger, better, and stronger from a weakened or reduced state.



A downswing is used for the opposite of an upswing, or a “decline.”

How to use upswing in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for upswing


noun (ˈʌpˌswɪŋ)
economics a recovery period in the trade cycle
an upward swing or movement or any increase or improvement
verb (ʌpˈswɪŋ) -swings, -swinging or -swung
(intr) to swing or move up
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