hold one's head high(redirected from hold one's head up)
hold (one's) head (up) high
To display confidence and pride, especially with one's body language, as a way of showing that one is not ashamed of something. Such behavior often includes literally holding one's head up instead of letting it hang down. I know you're disappointed to have lost, but you should hold your head high—you ran an excellent race.
hold one's head high
Also, hold one's head up; hold up one's head. Behave proudly; maintain one's dignity. For example, After the bankruptcy Mr. Jones still held his head high, or Grandma told Brian he could hold his head up because he'd tried extremely hard, or After that newspaper article, I'm not sure I'll ever hold up my head again. All these expressions allude to a posture of pride. [Second half of 1500s]