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verb up·set \(ˌ)əp-ˈset\

Simple Definition of upset

  • : to make (someone) unhappy, worried, etc.

  • : to cause an unpleasant feeling in (your stomach)

  • : to cause (something) to be unable to continue in the expected way

Full Definition of upset


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to thicken and shorten (as a heated bar of iron) by hammering on the end :  swage

  3. 2 :  to force out of the usual upright, level, or proper position :  overturn

  4. 3 a :  to trouble mentally or emotionally :  disturb the poise of <the news upset me> b :  to throw into disorder c :  invalidate d :  to defeat unexpectedly <was upset in the primary>

  5. 4 :  to cause a physical disorder in; specifically :  to make somewhat ill <spicy food upsets my stomach>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. :  to become overturned

up·set·ter noun
upset the apple cart
  1. :  to disturb or overturn a natural or stable order

Examples of upset

  1. That remark you made really upset me.

  2. Don't upset yourself over it.

  3. It upsets him that he can do nothing to help.

  4. A lot of people were upset by the court's decision.

  5. It upsets me to think I might never see him again.

  6. Spicy food upsets my stomach.


First Known Use of upset


Synonym Discussion of upset

discompose, disquiet, disturb, perturb, agitate, upset, fluster mean to destroy capacity for collected thought or decisive action. discompose implies some degree of loss of self-control or self-confidence especially through emotional stress <discomposed by the loss of his beloved wife>. disquiet suggests loss of sense of security or peace of mind <the disquieting news of factories closing>. disturb implies interference with one's mental processes caused by worry, perplexity, or interruption <the discrepancy in accounts disturbed me>. perturb implies deep disturbance of mind and emotions <perturbed by her husband's strange behavior>. agitate suggests obvious external signs of nervous or emotional excitement <in his agitated state we could see he was unable to work>. upset implies the disturbance of normal or habitual functioning by disappointment, distress, or grief <the family's constant bickering upsets the youngest child>. fluster suggests bewildered agitation <his declaration of love completely flustered her>.



noun up·set \ˈəp-ˌset\

Simple Definition of upset

  • : an occurrence in which a game, contest, etc., is won by a person or team that was expected to lose

  • : an unpleasant feeling of illness in your stomach

  • : a period of worry and unhappiness caused by something that has happened

Full Definition of upset

  1. 1 :  an act of overturning :  overturn

  2. 2 a (1) :  an act of throwing into disorder :  derangement (2) :  a state of disorder :  confusion b :  an unexpected defeat

  3. 3 a :  a minor physical disorder <a stomach upset> b :  an emotional disturbance <went through a big upset after his father's death>

  4. 4 a :  a part of a rod (as the head on a bolt) that is upset b :  the expansion of a bullet on striking

Examples of upset

  1. In a major upset, he took the gold medal.

  2. Her victory in the election was a big upset.

  3. Spicy foods can cause stomach upset.

  4. An emotional upset can affect your physical health.

  5. a period of emotional upset


First Known Use of upset




adjective up·set \(ˌ)əp-ˈset\

Simple Definition of upset

  • : angry or unhappy

Full Definition of upset

  1. :  emotionally disturbed or agitated <was too upset to speak to him>

Examples of upset

  1. I was feeling upset by the whole experience.

  2. There's no point in getting all upset about it.

  3. I try not to let her make me upset.

  4. She was too upset to speak to him.

  5. I'm upset that you didn't call.

  6. I was so upset with him, I didn't call him for two weeks.


First Known Use of upset


Seen and Heard

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February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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