Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [intransitive] rise pronunciation in British English /raɪz/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlerising
past tenserose
past participlerisen
  1. 1



    rise up

    to move upwards or to a higher position

    The aircraft rose slowly into the air.

    rise from:

    A column of thick black smoke could be seen rising from the town.

    1. a.
      if the sun, moon, or a star rises, it seems to move higher in the sky

      As the sun rose in the sky the temperature climbed.

    2. b.
      if land rises, it slopes upwards and becomes higher

      They were heading westwards to where the land rose more steeply.

      Synonyms and related words
    3. d.
      if the hairs on a part of your body rise, they start to move upwards because you are very frightened

      Duncan felt the hairs rise on the back of his neck.

    4. e.
      to come up through the surface of the earth or water

      Bubbles rise to the surface of the liquid.

  2. 2



    rise up

    formal to stand from a sitting, kneeling, or lying position

    He rose up and went to the window.

    rise from a table/desk (=from a seat at it):

    Edward finished his meal quickly and rose from the table.

    rise to your feet:

    Pushing back her chair she rose to her feet.

    1. a.
      formal to get out of bed in the morning

      The next morning Benjamin rose early.

      rise and shine (=get out of bed and start the day):

      Rise and shine, folks! It’s time to get to work.

  3. 3
    to increase in size, amount, quality, or strength

    Salaries will continue to rise in line with inflation.

    Rising unemployment is our biggest problem.

    Temperatures will rise steadily towards the end of the week.

    rise in price/value:

    Even motor fuel rose in price as the war continued.

    rise and fall:

    Interest rates rise and fall according to the health of the economy.

    rising tide of something (=increasing amount of something):

    The police do not have enough officers to fight the rising tide of street crime.

    1. b.
      if a sea, lake, or other area of water rises, or if the tide rises, the amount of water in it increases and its level goes up

      The river rose and burst its banks.

      How many feet does the tide rise at this dock?

    2. c.
      if a feeling or emotion rises, it becomes stronger

      Stephen felt tenderness rising up in him.

      someone’s spirits rise (=they start to feel happier):

      Her spirits rose considerably at the thought of seeing him again.

      tensions rise:

      Tensions are rising again on the world’s most heavily armed border.

    3. e.
      if a sound rises, you can start to hear it or it gets louder

      No sound of any kind rose from the hot deserted streets.

  4. 4
    to achieve success, power, or a higher status
    rise from:

    Martha had risen from humble origins to immense wealth.

    rise to:

    During the war years he had risen to the rank of major.

    rise to prominence/fame/power:

    He rose to national prominence as a leader of the miners’ union.

    rise to the top (=achieve the highest position):

    She was utterly determined to rise to the top in her chosen profession.

  5. 5



    rise up

    if a building or natural feature rises or rises up somewhere, it is tall or high and can be seen clearly
    rise above:

    Grey mountains rose above the lakes.

    The dark tower of the church rose above the bare trees.

  6. 6



    rise up

    to start to protest and fight against a government or leader
    rise against:

    Eventually the people rose against the oppressive regime.



… a teaching method in which groups of children learn independently using a computer linked to the internet

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog