adverb Also up·wards.

toward a higher place or position: The birds flew upward.
toward a higher or more distinguished condition, rank, level, etc.: His employer wishes to move him upward in the company.
to a greater degree; more: fourscore and upward.
toward a large city, the source or origin of a stream, or the interior of a country or region: They followed the Thames River upward from the North Sea to London.
in the upper parts; above.


moving or tending upward; directed at or situated in a higher place or position.


    upwards of, more than; above: My vacation cost me upwards of a thousand dollars.

Origin of upward

before 900; Middle English; Old English upweard (cognate with Dutch opwaart). See up-, -ward
Related formsup·ward·ly, adverbup·ward·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for upward

Contemporary Examples of upward

Historical Examples of upward

  • My shock of surprise was the result of this upward process of inspection.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • There can be no upward change which is not in accord with the laws of Nature.

    The Truth About Woman

    C. Gasquoine Hartley

  • Oro is as heavy in its upward falling as Grah is in its downward.

    Two Thousand Miles Below

    Charles Willard Diffin

  • That is the normal process of civilization in its march forward and upward.

    High Finance

    Otto H. Kahn

  • Any active boy of ten years of age and upward may become a wheelman.

British Dictionary definitions for upward



directed or moving towards a higher point or level


a variant of upwards
Derived Formsupwardly, adverbupwardness, 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 upward

Old English upweard, upweardes; see up + -ward. Cf. Middle Low German upwart, Middle Dutch opwaert, Middle High German ufwart. Phrase upward mobility first recorded 1949; mainly restricted to sociologists' jargon until 1960s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper