adverb Also up·wards.
  1. toward a higher place or position: The birds flew upward.
  2. toward a higher or more distinguished condition, rank, level, etc.: His employer wishes to move him upward in the company.
  3. to a greater degree; more: fourscore and upward.
  4. 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.
  5. in the upper parts; above.
  1. moving or tending upward; directed at or situated in a higher place or position.
  1. 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. 2018

Related Words for upwards

uphill, higher, skyward, up, ascending, assurgent, above, lofty, greater, antrorse

Examples from the Web for upwards

Contemporary Examples of upwards

Historical Examples of upwards

British Dictionary definitions for upwards



  1. from a lower to a higher place, level, condition, etc
  2. towards a higher level, standing, etc


  1. directed or moving towards a higher point or level
  1. 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 upwards


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