(redirected from uprightness)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to uprightness: uprightness of character

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.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
A resurgence of the personal character trait of uprightness is the profession's sole hope of restoring a reputation for integrity.
The commandments include admonitions to "courtesy, uprightness, and prudence," and an exhortation that "cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin."
He is reported to have said: "A player who wants to be the best one of the world, and he already may be, should have the uprightness and the sufficient maturity to verify that against facts there are not arguments.
Anselm defines free will as "the ability to keep uprightness of will for the sake of uprightness itself" rather than as the ability to sin or not sin.
Reverend Knox was a Princeton-educated Scot, who, in the Princetonian Presbyterian tradition, strove to inculcate Hamilton with three indispensable virtues: moral uprightness, individual responsibility, and intellectual fervor.
It is nothing extraordinary, then, when his servants disguise themselves as the servants of uprightness. They will come to the end appropriate to what they have done" (2 Co 11, 13-15).
At the time, the Sydney Daily Telegraph wrote that Bishop Torreggiani 'succeeded in establishing general confidence and esteem by his gracious and kindly manner to persons of all classes, and by his frankness, generosity, and thorough uprightness in all things relating to the church'.
I know, my God, that you test the heart and take pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering themselves joyfully to you.
But he added: 'We have had no reason to doubt the uprightness of those involved.'
The characters themselves are aware of the morass into which they find themselves because of their lack of morality and their refusal to follow the bright example of Prince Lazar and his uprightness. This juxtaposition allows the author to castigate what he perceives as the present loss of morality.
He rose through service to Henry II and his sons, his military valour and his uprightness. He also married well.
Corcoran has made in the furtherance of the high ideals of the profession of real estate appraising and practices and mindful of the fact that this contribution was possible only through the zeal, uprightness, sacrifice, devotion, acumen and ability of the contributor."
Both on and off the screen, Miss Young presented the image of serene uprightness.
But the partisanship is not unrelenting: Constant strokes of characterization, often sharply at cross-purposes with the purely political sympathies, drive home how often folly, knavery, and vice of every sort can be found on the side that turns out to be right in politics, and how often uprightness and intelligence are found on the side that is wrong.
Women -- whom Aristotle had considered deformed males -- were also treated in light of these notions of dignity embodied, enjoined as they were to "postural rectitude and rigidity" through whalebone corsets that gave them no other choice except to be distorted into "laced and braced" uprightness (94-95).