Meaning of UP in English

/ ʌp; NAmE / adverb , preposition , adjective , verb , noun

■ adverb

HELP NOTE : For the special uses of up in phrasal verbs, look at the entries for the verbs. For example break up is in the phrasal verb section at break .


towards or in a higher position :

He jumped up from his chair.

The sun was already up (= had risen) when they set off.

They live up in the mountains.

It didn't take long to put the tent up.

I pinned the notice up on the wall.

Lay the cards face up (= facing upwards) on the table.

You look nice with your hair up (= arranged on top of or at the back of your head) .

Up you come! (= said when lifting a child) .


to or at a higher level :

She turned the volume up.

Prices are still going up (= rising) .

United were 3–1 up at half time.

The wind is getting up (= blowing more strongly) .

Sales are well up on last year.


to the place where sb/sth is :

A car drove up and he got in.

She went straight up to the door and knocked loudly.


to or at an important place, especially a large city :

We're going up to New York for the day.

( BrE , formal )

His son's up at Oxford (= Oxford University) .


to a place in the north of a country :

They've moved up north .

We drove up to Inverness to see my father.


into pieces or parts :

She tore the paper up.

They've had the road up (= with the surface broken or removed) to lay some pipes.

How shall we divide up the work?


completely :

We ate all the food up.

The stream has dried up.


so as to be formed or brought together :

The government agreed to set up a committee of inquiry.

She gathered up her belongings.


so as to be finished or closed :

I have some paperwork to finish up.

Do your coat up; it's cold.


( of a period of time ) finished; over :

Time's up. Stop writing and hand in your papers.


out of bed :

I stayed up late (= did not go to bed until late) last night.

( BrE )

He's up and about again after his illness.


( informal ) used to say that sth is happening, especially sth unusual or unpleasant :

I could tell something was up by the looks on their faces.

What's up? (= What is the matter?)

What's up with him? He looks furious.

Is anything up? You can tell me.

HELP NOTE : In NAmE What's up? can just mean 'What's new?' or 'What's happening?' There may not be anything wrong.


- be up to sb

- not be up to much

- up against sth

- up and down

- up and running

- up before sb/sth

- up for sth

- up to sth

■ preposition


to or in a higher position somewhere :

She climbed up the flight of steps.

The village is further up the valley.


along or further along a road or street :

We live just up the road, past the post office.


towards the place where a river starts :

a cruise up the Rhine


- up and down sth

- up yours!

■ adjective


[ only before noun ] directed or moving upwards :

an up stroke

the up escalator


[ not before noun ] ( informal ) cheerful; happy or excited :

The mood here is resolutely up.


[ not before noun ] ( of a computer system ) working :

Our system should be up by this afternoon.

■ verb ( -pp- )


[ v ] up and ... ( informal or humorous ) to suddenly move or do sth unexpected :

He upped and left without telling anyone.


[ vn ] to increase the price or amount of sth

SYN raise :

The buyers upped their offer by £1 000.


- up sticks

—more at ante

■ noun


- on the up

- on the up and up

- ups and downs



Old English up(p) , uppe , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch op and German auf .

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.