Advertisement
181 entries found
Search filter: All Results 
upper (adj.)
c. 1300, originally comparative of up (adj.). Similar formation in Middle Dutch upper, Dutch opper, Low German upper, Norwegian yppare.

Upper hand "advantage" is late 15c., perhaps from wrestling (get the over-hand in the same sense is from early 14c.); lower hand "condition of having lost or failed to win superiority" (1690s) is rare. Upperclassman is recorded from 1871. Upper crust is attested from mid-15c. in reference to the top crust of a loaf of bread, 1836 in reference to society. Upper middle class (adj.) is recorded from 1835. Upper ten thousand (1844) was common mid-19c. for "wealthier and more aristocratic part of a large community;" hence uppertendom.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
upper (n.)
"part of a shoe above the sole," 1789, from upper (adj.). Sense of "stimulant drug" is from 1968, agent noun from up (v.).
Related entries & more 
uppercut (n.)

in pugilism, a close-in strike upward with the fist, 1831, from upper + cut (n.). Perhaps the image is of chopping a tree by making cuts up (as well as down) in the trunk.

It was on a side hill, and I observed a boy, who appeared to be about fifteen years of age, opposite the house felling a large tree; he had cut a few chips from the under side, and was then making the principal incision on the upper. ... I said to the boy, "Well Sir, I see that you make the upper cut." "That is the true cut," said the boy; "for if you will take the axe and try below, you will find that the tree will crowd down upon your chips, and you can't get it down in double the time." [Theodore Sedgwick, "Hints to My Countrymen," 1826]
Related entries & more 
axillary (adj.)
"pertaining to the armpit or shoulder," 1610s, from Latin *axillaris, from axilla "armpit, upper arm, underpart of an upper wing" (see axle).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
brachio- 
before a vowel, brachi-, word-forming element meaning "arm, of the upper arm, pertaining to the upper arm and," from Greek brakhion "arm," perhaps originally "upper arm," literally "shorter," from brakhys "short" (from PIE root *mregh-u- "short"), in contrast to the longer forearm.
Related entries & more 
Mandingo 
people of the upper Niger region of West Africa, 1620s.
Related entries & more 
overbite (n.)

"overlapping of the lower teeth by the upper ones," 1878, from over- + bite (n.).

Related entries & more 
maxilla (n.)

"a jaw, a jawbone," 1670s, from Latin maxilla "upper jaw," diminutive of mala "jaw, cheekbone." "Maxilla stands to mala as axilla, 'armpit,' stands to ala 'wing'" [Klein]. Especially a bone of the upper jaw (maxilla superior) as distinguished from the mandible or lower jaw (maxilla inferior). Related: Maxillar; maxilliform.

Related entries & more 
larynx (n.)

"cartilaginous cavity in the upper windpipe where vocal sounds are made," 1570s, from French larynx (16c.), via medical Latin, from Greek larynx (genitive laryngos) "the upper windpipe," which is probably from laimos "throat" (a word of uncertain etymology) but influenced by pharynx "throat, windpipe" (see pharynx).

Related entries & more