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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.

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.).

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Definitions of upper from WordNet
1
upper (n.)
the higher of two berths;
Synonyms: upper berth
upper (n.)
piece of leather or synthetic material that forms the part of a shoe or boot above the sole that encases the foot;
upper (n.)
a central nervous system stimulant that increases energy and decreases appetite; used to treat narcolepsy and some forms of depression;
Synonyms: amphetamine / pep pill / speed
2
upper (adj.)
the topmost one of two;
upper (adj.)
higher in place or position;
in the upper center of the picture
the upper stories
the upper bunk
upper (adj.)
superior in rank or accomplishment;
the upper half of the class
From wordnet.princeton.edu