- up the stairs; to or on an upper floor.
- Informal. in the mind: to be a little weak upstairs.
- to or at a higher level of authority: You may have to take the matter upstairs.
- Military Slang. at or to a higher level in the air.
- Also up·stair. of, relating to, or situated on an upper floor: an upstairs window; an upstairs apartment.
noun, plural up·stairs.
- (usually used with a singular verb) an upper story or stories; the part of a building or house that is above the ground floor: The upstairs of this house is entirely rented.
- a higher command or level of authority: We can’t take action till we have approval from upstairs.
- kick upstairs, to promote (a person) to a higher position, usually having less authority, in order to be rid of him or her.
- up the stairs; to or on an upper floor or level
- informal to or into a higher rank or office
- informal in the minda little weak upstairs
- kick upstairs informal to promote to a higher rank or position, esp one that carries less power
noun (functioning as singular or plural)
- an upper floor or level
- (as modifier)an upstairs room
- British informal, old-fashioned the masters and mistresses of a household collectively, esp of a large houseCompare downstairs (def. 3)
1590s (adj.), from up + stairs (see stair). The noun is first attested 1872. Meaning “characteristic of upstairs life” (in private rooms of a household, as opposed to servants’ quarters) is recorded from 1942.
He [Halifax] had said he had known many kicked down stairs, but he never knew any kicked up stairs before. [Gilbert Burnet, supplement to “History of My own Time,” from his original memoirs, c.1697]
see kick upstairs.