Etymology
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up (v.)

1550s, "to drive and catch (swans)," from up (adv.). Intransitive meaning "get up, rise to one's feet" (as in up and leave) is recorded from 1640s. Sense of "to move upward" is recorded from 1737. Meaning "increase" (as in up the price of oil) is attested from 1915. Compare Old English verb uppian "to rise up, swell." Related: Upped; upping. Upping block, used for mounting or dismounting horses, carriages, etc., is attested from 1796 (earlier was horsing-block, 1660s).

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up (adv.)

Old English up, uppe, from Proto-Germanic *upp- "up" (source also of Old Frisian, Old Saxon up "up, upward," Old Norse upp; Danish, Dutch op; Old High German uf, German auf "up"; Gothic iup "up, upward," uf "on, upon, under;" Old High German oba, German ob "over, above, on, upon"), from PIE root *upo "under," also "up from under," hence also "over."

As a preposition, "to a higher place" from c. 1500; also "along, through" (1510s), "toward" (1590s). Often used elliptically for go up, come up, rise up, etc. Up the river "in jail" first recorded 1891, originally in reference to Sing Sing, which is up the Hudson from New York City. To drive someone up the wall (1951) is from the notion of the behavior of lunatics or caged animals. Insulting retort up yours (scil. ass) is attested by late 19c.

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up (adj.)
c. 1300, "dwelling inland or upland," from up (adv.). Meaning "going up" is from 1784. From 1815 as "excited, exhilarated, happy," hence "enthusiastic, optimistic." Up-and-coming "promising" is from 1848. Musical up-tempo (adj.) is recorded from 1948.
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up (n.)
"that which is up," 1530s, from up (adv.). Phrase on the up-(and-up) "honest, straightforward" first attested 1863, American English.
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up- 
prefix with various senses, from Old English up (adv.), corresponding to similar prefixes in other Germanic languages.
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write-up (n.)
1882, from the verbal phrase; see write (v.) + up (adv.).
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sign-up (n.)
"number who have signed up," 1926, from the verbal phrase; see sign (v.) + up (adv.).
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start-up (n.)
also startup, 1550s, "upstart," from verbal phrase (attested from c. 1200 in sense "rise up;" 1590s as "come suddenly into being"); see start (v.) + up (adv.). Meaning "action of starting up" is from 1845. See start (v.) + up (adv.).
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up-country (n.)
"interior regions," 1680s, from up- + country (n.). As an adjective from 1810; as an adverb from 1864.
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