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an empty sack cannot stand upright

proverb One must eat in order to carry out one's duties. Have some dinner before you go back to your research. An empty sack cannot stand upright, you know.
See also: cannot, empty, sack, stand, upright

bolt upright

1. verb To suddenly sit or stand up from a reclining position. I bolted upright in bed when the phone rang in the middle of the night.
2. adjective Very erect in posture. The teacher instructed us to be bolt upright on the stage during the assembly.
See also: bolt, upright

dimber damber upright man

obsolete slang The leader of a band of thieves, miscreants, or gypsies. He walked through the town, this dimber damber upright man, quietly marking people as targets for his band of rogues who lurked in the shadows.
See also: man, upright

sit bolt upright

1. To have a very erect posture while sitting. The teacher demands that we all sit bolt upright during the lesson, scolding us should we begin to slouch. The seat of the train was so stiff that I ended up sitting bolt upright for nearly three hours.
2. To very suddenly or abruptly assume an erect posture while sitting. I awoke from the nightmare and sat bolt upright in my bed. We all sat bolt upright when the principal suddenly barged into class.
See also: bolt, sit, upright
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

An empty sack cannot stand upright.

Prov. A poor or hungry person cannot function properly. Sit down and have something to eat before you go back to work. An empty sack can't stand upright.
See also: cannot, empty, sack, stand, upright

sit bolt upright

to sit up straight. Tony sat bolt upright and listened to what the teacher was saying to him. After sitting bolt upright for almost an hour in that crowded airplane, I swore I would never fly again.
See also: bolt, sit, upright
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

bolt upright

Precisely perpendicular, erect in carriage, as in She sat bolt upright in her pew. This expression was used in slightly different form by Chaucer in the late 1300s: "She was ... long as a mast and upright as a bolt" ( The Miller's Tale).
See also: bolt, upright
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

bolt ˈupright

with your back very straight in an upright position: The noise woke her suddenly and she sat bolt upright in bed.
See also: bolt, upright
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

bolt upright

In a rigidly vertical position: sat bolt upright.
See also: bolt, upright
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
(6.) Rubenstein B.M: "Uprighting second molars with direct bonding." J Clin Orthod 1975; 9:377-8.
An uprighting appliance for impacted mandibular second and third molars.
Uprighting partially impacted permanent second molars.
Uprighting impacted mandibular permanent second molars with the tip-back cantilever technique cases report.
Uprighting mesially inclined mandibular second molars with a modified Uprighter Jet.
Caption: Figure 3: Uprighting spring with niti coil spring