Meaning of UPWARD in English

I. ˈəpwə(r)d adverb

or up·wards -dz

Etymology: upward from Middle English, from Old English ūpweard, from ūp up + -weard -ward; upwards from Middle English upwardes, from Old English ūpweardes, from ūpweard + -es (adverbially functioning gen. singular ending of nouns) — more at up , -s I


a. : toward a higher position : in a direction from a lower to a higher place

the land gradually rose upward — J.P.Marquand

his hands were groping upward — James Hilton

b. : toward the source of a stream or the interior of a region

an explorer moving upward from a river mouth finds a place at which the stream divides — A.A.Hill

c. : in a higher or the highest relative position

holding out her right hand, palm upwards — Tomorrow

d. : in the upper parts especially of the body : toward the head : above

from the waist upward

sea monster, upward man and downward fish — John Milton

2. archaic : toward the past

3. : toward a higher or better condition, status, or level

forced his way steadily upwards by his mere soldierlike qualities — J.A.Froude

both man and the manlike apes have developed upwards from a common prehistoric ancestral stock — R.W.Murray

the Senate has amended its opinion of him upward — Time


a. : to an indefinitely greater amount, figure, or rank

from $5 upward

each claiming as his own anywhere from 100 head upward — Agnes M. Cleaveland

b. : toward a greater amount or higher number, degree, or rate

higher incomes shot swiftly upward — Oscar Handlin

building costs have proved flexible upward but not downward — T.W.Arnold

5. : toward or into later years

from his youth upward

6. : toward a large city

7. : toward the top (as of a sheet of paper)

this stroke … is written upward — Dwight McEwen

II. preposition

Etymology: Middle English, from upward, adverb

archaic : up along

upward ragged precipices flit to save poor lambkins — John Keats

III. adjective

Etymology: upward (I)


a. : directed toward a higher place : ascending

the drive along that winding upward track — Norman Douglas

a general upward movement of fish

b. : situated in a higher place or position

scaling the upward sky — P.B.Shelley

2. : marked by improvement or progress

the line of upward development which led to the anthropoid — R.W.Murray

3. : upstream

discovered and named the falls … which they had barely missed on the upward journey — American Guide Series: Minnesota

4. : rising to a higher pitch

her words had an upward inflection — Ethel Wilson

5. : marked by an increase : rising

prices … continued their upward movement — N.H.Brown

struggling … against the upward trend of wages — Alzada Comstock

look forward to an unending upward market — K.D.Burke

6. : directed toward the top (as toward the top of a sheet of paper)

an upward stroke — J.R.Gregg

• up·ward·ly adverb

• up·ward·ness noun -es

IV. noun

obsolete : top , crown

extremest upward of thy head — Shakespeare

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.