Meaning of “uphold” in the English Dictionary

"uphold" in British English

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upholdverb [ T ]

uk /ʌpˈhəʊld/ us /ʌpˈhoʊld/ upheld, upheld

C2 to defend or keep a principle or law, or to say that a decision that has already been made, especially a legal one, is correct:

As a police officer you are expected to uphold the law whether you agree with it or not.
Judge Davis upheld the county court's decision.

More examples

  • The government has promised to uphold the principles of democracy.
  • We will endeavour to uphold the high educational standards which have become associated with this institution.
  • The freedom of the press must be upheld.
  • A committed socialist, he upheld the rights of the voiceless and the underprivileged.
  • The court is said to be upholding its decision.
upholder
noun [ C ] uk /ʌpˈhəʊl.dər/ us /ʌpˈhoʊl.dɚ/

(Definition of “uphold” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"uphold" in American English

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upholdverb [ T ]

us /ˈʌpˈhoʊld/ past tense and past participle upheld /ʌpˈheld/

to defend or maintain a principle or law, or to state that a decision that has already been made, esp. a legal one, is correct:

The Supreme Court upheld California’s term limit measure.

(Definition of “uphold” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"uphold" in Business English

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upholdverb [ T ]

uk /ʌpˈhəʊld/ us upheld, upheld LAW

to state that a decision which has already been made, especially a legal one, is correct:

uphold a decision/ruling/appeal The court is said to be upholding its decision.

to keep or defend a principle or law:

When he took office he swore to uphold the laws of the land.
The decision by the court upholds the right of rural Alaskans to subsistence hunt and fish on most waters in Alaska.
upholder
noun [ C ] /ʌpˈhəʊldər/ /-ˈhoʊldɚ/

Our country's reputation as an upholder of standards of freedom and decency is being questioned.

(Definition of “uphold” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)