bou·​le·​ver·​se·​ment bül-ˌver-sə-ˈmäⁿ How to pronounce bouleversement (audio)
: a violent disturbance : disorder

Did you know?

Bouleversement Has French Roots

English picked up bouleversement from French in the latter part of the 18th century (it ultimately traces to Middle French boule, meaning "ball," and verser, meaning "to overturn"), and while not very common, it has steadily remained in use since that time. F. Scott Fitzgerald, for one, used it in his 1920 novel This Side of Paradise: "For the second time in his life Amory had had a complete bouleversement and was hurrying into line with his generation." Fitzgerald's use suggests the idea of turning something around, but some usage of bouleversement dispenses with this notion and instead implies a general kind of upheaval or dramatic change, as in a revolution.

Examples of bouleversement in a Sentence

the bouleversement in the print media since the rise of the Internet

Word History



First Known Use

1782, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bouleversement was in 1782


Dictionary Entries Near bouleversement

Cite this Entry

“Bouleversement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!