To uphold something is to support it, enforce it, or honor it. This verb is often used when talking about the law and agreements.

simplepastpast participle
  • Police officers uphold the law.
  • If laws are not upheld, criminals will feel free to commit crimes. (This sentence is in the passive voice. It’s a complex sentence.)
  • Laws are upheld in a court of law presided over by a judge or a group of judges.
  • A country’s military upholds the defense of its people.
  • If you enter into an agreement with someone, you’re expected to uphold your side of the deal.
  • People who don’t uphold their side of a deal may be in breach of a contract.
  • I entered into an agreement with someone, and I upheld my side of the bargain.
  • Are you willing to uphold your side of an agreement?


A judge upholds the law.

Note: The words "bargain," "agreement," and "deal" have similar meanings in the sentences above.

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Date of publication: January 25, 2017