1. up the stairs; to or on an upper floor.
  2. Informal. in the mind: to be a little weak upstairs.
  3. to or at a higher level of authority: You may have to take the matter upstairs.
  4. Military Slang. at or to a higher level in the air.


  1. Also up·stair. of, relating to, or situated on an upper floor: an upstairs window; an upstairs apartment.

noun, plural up·stairs.

  1. (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.
  2. a higher command or level of authority: We can’t take action till we have approval from upstairs.
  1. kick upstairs, to promote (a person) to a higher position, usually having less authority, in order to be rid of him or her.


  1. up the stairs; to or on an upper floor or level
  2. informal to or into a higher rank or office
  3. informal in the minda little weak upstairs
  4. kick upstairs informal to promote to a higher rank or position, esp one that carries less power

noun (functioning as singular or plural)

    1. an upper floor or level
    2. (as modifier)an upstairs room
  1. 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.

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