Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “upstream”


adverb, adjective [before noun]     /ˌʌpˈstriːm/
( moving ) on a river or stream towards its origin : Salmon swim upstream against very strong currents to reach their breeding areas .Watercourses and waterfalls relating to an earlier stage in a process or series of events : The company's upstream business includes oil exploration and production .Before, after and alreadyAfter and behind → Opposite downstream
(Definition of upstream adverbadjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of upstream

Definitions of “upstream” 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