When you uphold something, you stick up for or support it. Police officers are paid to uphold the law, and crazy Elvis fans uphold their belief that he's still alive out there somewhere.

If you reverse the two parts of this word, you get hold up. And that's exactly what upholding is: holding up or supporting an idea or practice. You might uphold your dog's innocence, even though it's pretty obvious he dug up the neighbor's flower bed. When America fought for independence, we upheld the idea of fair representation. When you uphold something, you're taking a stand for it.

Definitions of uphold
  1. verb
    stand up for; stick up for; of causes, principles, or ideals
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    type of:
    defend, fend for, support
    argue or speak in defense of
  2. verb
    support against an opponent
    “The appellate court upheld the verdict”
    synonyms: maintain
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    justify, vindicate
    show to be right by providing justification or proof
    excuse, explain
    serve as a reason or cause or justification of
    show or affirm to be just and legitimate
    type of:
    confirm, reassert
    strengthen or make more firm
  3. verb
    keep or maintain in unaltered condition; cause to remain or last
    synonyms: bear on, carry on, continue, preserve
    continue, go forward, proceed
    move ahead; travel onward in time or space
    continue, go along, go on, keep, proceed
    continue a certain state, condition, or activity
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    cease, discontinue, give up, lay off, quit, stop
    put an end to a state or an activity
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    re-start, restart, resume
    take up or begin anew
    hang in, hang on, hold on, persevere, persist
    be persistent, refuse to stop
    cause to continue or prevail
    keep up, prolong, sustain
    lengthen or extend in duration or space
    preserve while making lifeless
    persist stubbornly
    ask for it, ask for trouble
    persist with actions or an attitude despite the probability that it will cause trouble
    plug, plug away
    persist in working hard
    follow, stick to, stick with
    keep to
    continue, keep, keep on, retain
    allow to remain in a place or position or maintain a property or feature
    cause to continue indefinitely
    type of:
    hold, keep, maintain
    keep in a certain state, position, or activity; e.g., "keep clean"
Word Family

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