Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “up”


adverb (EQUAL)    /ʌp/
so as to be equal in quality , knowledge , or achievement : She couldn't go to school for a few weeks because of illness , but she'll be able to catch up (with her lessons ) quickly . So much scientific research is being performed that it's virtually impossible to keep up (with all the new developments ).US informal Kate and I were both playing well, and after ten minutes the score was 6 up (= 6 points each).Similar and the sameDescribing people with the same qualities Grammar:UpUp is an adverb, a preposition and an adjective.Grammar:Up as an adverbWe use up as an adverb to talk about movement towards a higher position, value, number or level:Grammar:Up as a prepositionWe use up to talk about a higher position or movement to a higher position:Grammar:Up as an adjectiveWe use up as an adjective usually to talk about increases in prices, levels or amounts:Grammar:Up to with numbersWe use up to with numbers and amounts when we are being approximate. It means ‘as much as’ or ‘not more than’:Grammar:Up as a particleUp is commonly used as a particle in phrasal verbs:
(Definition of up adverb (EQUAL) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of up

Definitions of “up” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


relating to behaviour between people that is pleasant and friendly, often despite a difficult situation

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More